Data hacks at the POS (Point of Sale) are now very common. Preventing these is also easy. Here are some steps (which need to be part of ensuring PCI compliance as well) that could help prevent POS data hacks-
Ensuring that POS, OS etc are up-to-date- Updating POS and the OS regularly are very important since hackers always look for vulnerabilities and hence it’s very important that vulnerabilities are patched. Thus updates, as and when they are released, need to be downloaded and installed.
Ensuring that those manning POS terminals monitor the self-checkout terminals/kiosks- This is important since hackers often attempt data breaches by installing card skimmers on self-checkout terminals that are not monitored. Those who man POS terminals should be trained to spot card skimmers or any other unusual activities at the terminals/kiosks.
Ensuring that POS system is isolated from other networks- POS system, if it’s part of the main network or any other network, would be easy to hack. Hackers can find their way in through a free Wi-Fi that’s offered to customers or through BYOD devices or other means.
Ensuring that default passwords given by manufacturers are changed- The default password given by the manufacturer of any hardware that’s connected to the POS network/system needs to be changed. This is very important since default passwords are publicly available and can be misused by hackers.
Ensuring that POS systems are purchased from reputed dealers- POS systems should always be purchased from known, reputed dealers. By staying away from fraudulent dealers, who may approach merchants with great offers and deals, POS security can be ensured in the best ways possible.