Guest Column | March 23, 2015

10 Ways To Protect POS From Malware

By Patrick Grueschow, VP of Marketing, Quorion

Protect POS From Malware

While point of sale (POS) threats have existed for years, 2014 has set a dubious record, as criminals placed the POS system in the spotlight with a number of well publicized attacks. Their severity proves that the risk of becoming the next cyberattack victim has soared. Why should they attack your clients? Because they can.  “Security through obscurity” presents an ill-advised approach, especially with the attacks’ expansion into SMBs. Given that small companies lack the resources to protect their IT infrastructure and their ubiquity in today’s economy, it’s not surprising that they present a fertile ground for criminals to harvest.  POS attacks flourish, because of the credit card’s popular use and the heightened demand for stolen card data in cybercriminal underground markets. 

The potential threat landscape is vast. Criminals target flaws within the most popular operating systems to maximize reach and throughput. We have seen vulnerabilities within Microsoft Windows, Android OS, mobile platforms (FakeID flaw), and OpenSource products (Heartbleed). Even Apple’s closed iOS fell victim, as the Goto Fail vulnerability showed.  If your POS system runs on popular software, then you are at risk.

Regrettably, many POS system environments evolve around a low cost approach, which neglects security. It’s best to do it right from the start, even if it costs a little more. Data breaches can potentially lead to stiff fines, damage to your client’s brand, and substantial financial loss to their business. It’s just not worth the risk.

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