Restaurant POS Security: How Secure is Your System?

High profile data breaches such as Yahoo and Facebook make for great news stories, but studies suggest that up to 43 percent of data breaches are targeted at small businesses. So with the cost of cybercrime hitting a staggering $2 trillion in 2019, your restaurant POS security needs to be one of your highest business priorities.

Fortunately, modern restaurant POS systems, such as CBS NorthStar, offer considerable flexibility in their method of operation, and we set out here just a few ways in which they can be used to offer your customers the maximum possible security.

Use a Cloud-Based System for Enhanced Restaurant POS Security

NorthStar POS

With the increasing sophistication of cybercriminals, the time and expertise required to store confidential data securely on their own server are probably beyond the reach of most restaurant businesses.

When you use a cloud-based system like the NorthStar, however, all data is transmitted to remote, online storage, protected by high-level encryption and safe from the attentions of hackers. Risks from malfunctioning or corrupted hardware and employee error are also much reduced.

Use Immediate Encryption and Tokenization

But whether you are sending data to the cloud or not, you also need to ensure that all payment card data is encrypted immediately when the card is used at the terminal.

For onward transmission to your payment processor, all confidential card data should be replaced with a unique token that can only be decoded by the intended recipient or by the NorthStar POS.

In this way, any data intercepted by hackers will be useless to them.   

Use EMV (Chip and PIN) Payment Technology 

EMV (which stands for “Europay, MasterCard, Visa”) is the name informally given to the chips that are now embedded as standard in almost all new credit and debit cards issued in the US.

The chips work by generating a unique code for each transaction and requiring verification by signature or PIN. In addition, the information previously held on vulnerable magnetic strips is now securely located in the chip.

EMV technology has, without doubt, added a valuable extra layer of security to payment card transactions; and its use is now almost mandated by the major card networks who have shifted liability for fraud on to businesses that fail to offer customers the chip and PIN option.

Earlier concerns about slow processing speeds have been largely eliminated and with a quality restaurant POS system like the NorthStar you will now be able to offer your customers both a rapid and secure checkout experience.

Be PCI Compliant

But no matter how good your system may be, it will only be as secure as the way in which it is operated.  

The Payment Card Industry (PCI) has therefore issued data security standards (DSS) for all businesses accepting card payments, which will also help protect your system from unauthorized access.

Requiring your staff to use strong and regularly updated passwords or PINs to access the system is an important starting point. But you also need to take steps to prevent unauthorized access to your WiFi network, to encrypt all data transmitted within it, and to use a robust firewall with up to date anti-virus and malware/ransomware software.

All of these measures are good business practices in themselves, and essential for customer trust and confidence, but failure to comply with the PCI DSS may also have severe financial consequences including higher fees and even fines from Mastercard and Visa.  

Our restaurant POS system is designed to make compliance easy, but thorough staff training in its correct operation is also essential if you’re to achieve the best possible security for your customers.       

Find Out More

NorthStar has been providing market-leading POS solutions to restaurants of all types and sizes since 1994, and we know that our systems can be invaluable business and marketing tools.

But even the most advanced technologies are of little use to businesses that have lost the trust of their customers. So we make effective security features one of the top priorities for our systems.

You can see these in action by requesting a live demo here, or find out more by calling us on 800-551-7674.  

March 26, 2020|News & Events|

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