Nowadays, information is everything. No matter what type of business or industry you are into, you must protect that competitive advantage which is making your business thrive. But, since the entire world is sharing data as never before, how can you protect your customers’ database from external threats?
According to the Breach Level Index, an index that tracks a variety of breaches occurring on businesses, 51 records of data breach happen every second, and when considering all industries, almost 12 percent occur in retail. Those breaches can happen from different sources, but more than 65 percent of them come from an outside malicious source. Target Corp paid $18.5 million to settle lawsuits stemming from a data breach occurred in 2013, where more than 60 million consumers had their personal information such as payment-card accounts and contact information exposed. (BloombergTechnology) (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-05-23/target-agrees-to-pay-18-5-million-to-settle-data-breach-lawsuit)
Taking into consideration the importance of protecting your database, performing a few actions can help you shield that information from obvious hazards. Legacy systems are on the top of the list. Simply put, legacy systems are old systems, methods, or technologies that are still in use and are out-dated, which can be more vulnerable to malware. These kinds of systems are subject to security issues mostly because, at one point, they will stop being included in new patches. For example, Microsoft stopped supporting Windows XP in May 2014, which forced a lot of users to migrate to a newer Windows version. If a single Windows XP system suffers an attack from an updated malware version, it will not stand a chance. According to CNN, on last May 7th the ransomware “WannaCrypt”, a software that steals data requesting a ransom in return, victimized over 200,000 outdated Windows users. Those affected users were not able to access their data until the required ransom was paid.
That being said, one simple action to be taken to build a strong base against outside threats and improving your data security, is keeping your local POS system updated. This response may seem basic and obvious, but a multitude of companies lack from upgrading their systems mostly because it is not cost-effective.
Another solution is to store your information in a cloud-based server with a third party partner. By doing so, you would not have to worry about any updates/upgrades release, dedicating time and financial resources to other actions. Reliable companies that provide this kind of services have a huge interest in keeping your data safe from all sorts of breaches. So, most of them end up developing different approaches to impede unauthorized users to access your data. Look for POS systems which do not store any payment information. Without going into much technical detail, this updated approach integrates the POS system with the payment terminal (the little machine you tap your debit/credit card), and it only receives the transaction confirmation from it. As a consequence, if any malware passes through security protocols and attacks your system or your provider’s, it would not find any payment information, saving your client from great frustrations and, furthermore, your brand’s reputation.
No matter which solution you choose to use, your data must be stored in an updated, well-protected storage unit. Avoiding legacy systems is crucial to maintaining your corporation safe against malicious cyber attacks. At Givex, we always keep our customers aware of new updates and possible threats they may encounter in the near feature, as well as suggesting the best approach for each use. If you are interested in knowing more about the solutions we have for your business, please click here.