Is your point of sale software at risk of being infected by malware?

Is Your Point of Sale Software At Risk of Being Infected by Malware?

Point of sale malware is currently an increasing problem in the retail industry. Many small businesses are not aware of this type of malware or how to spot if their software has been affected. By understanding the main things you need to know and look out for, SMB owners can minimize the risk and respond quickly to a data breach if necessary.

What Is Point of Sale Malware?

Malware is a name for computer software that has a malicious intent, such as a virus, spyware, adware or Trojan horse. In the case of point of sale malware, hackers create malicious versions of point of sale (POS) software and make it available online, with the aim to get hold of customers’ credit card details. This information is sold on underground marketplaces, and customers can be subject to credit card fraud. If a retail business is found to be responsible for using software that enables theft, it inevitably damages their trusted reputation.

Some of the high-profile companies that have been affected include hotel chains Hilton Worldwide and Starwood, and US superstore chain Target. In all these cases, the incidents were widely reported in the media. Small- and medium-sized businesses are also at risk and can be an easy target for cybercriminals, as they don’t have such sophisticated security systems.

How to Protect Your Business

The first step to protecting your SMB from point of sale malware attacks is to ensure that all employees are aware of the risk. When downloading POS software, it’s important to verify that it comes from a trusted source, for example by Googling the company and confirming the download site is an official website.

At important times of year for the retail industry, such as Christmas, business owners should take the time to learn about the latest strains of malware, as hackers like to capitalize on these busy periods when the highest number of financial transactions are made. You can also gain further peace of mind by partnering with an experienced IT service support firm, which can monitor your POS system and advise you on how to prevent a malware attack.

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