As Singapore businesses adapt new technologies, so do system hackers up their game. Point of Sale Terminals is vulnerable to hacks if they are not properly secured. As of now, it is estimated that most attacks are multi-staged, meaning the hacker has to intrude the system from the network before accessing information on the Point of Sale Machine.
However, before making it hard for the hacker to gain access to the Point of Sale System, it makes sense to understand how they do it first. Here are a few ways hackers can achieve their objective:
Retail POS Singapore: How hackers gain access to POS Systems
So, how does the hacker manage to access this information? Well, they can access it as long as they’re able to get hold of an associated network. Once they’ve done this, they can traverse the network until they reach the Point of Sale System.
Their work is further carried on by the help of a special malware able to attach itself and steal information from the system. As soon as the vital data is exposed, it is redirected to the internal staging server, and this opens a vast opportunity for the attacker to infiltrate the information to their own network.
Their techniques evolve. But so far, there are two techniques they use to steal data from your POS. The first one involves scanning the system for weak points by way of SQL injections. Alternatively, they can scan the system for any peripheral devices using a password. They will use a default password which is normally set by the manufacturer of the POS.
Another technique they use to steal information from large corporations involves sending out phishing emails to employees. The emails contain malicious links or attachments that should facilitate their access the moment the email is opened by an employee. The simple action of reading or clicking links in an email will launch backdoor software that will install itself into the victim’s PC.
Once the program is installed, the hacker will focus on gaining access to the POS you’re using, whether it’s a F&B POS or a Salon POS. Depending on whichever tool they use, they are able to get hold of your network that way. In fact, they have specially designed tools that will scan the entire network before locating the central database.
How to safeguard your POS system
According to Dell reports published in 2015, POS attacks have evolved, and the revolution has seen an increased number of dead-eye scraping with the intent of stealing information. For a long time, we’ve been made to believe that there isn’t a single way a malicious script will penetrate the layers of encryption employed on sensitive data. But this does not apply today.
Regardless of the nature of attack staged on your POS system, you should put in place a few basic measures that will protect you from these attacks. These include the following:
(a) Your operating system should be fully updated, plus the application must be well-patched to the POS system. Most of the patches here are centered on sealing security loopholes, so observing them won’t make you vulnerable to these threats.
(b) You should set up a Firewall for your POS system and the network that serves it. Remember we mentioned that these attacks are mostly multi-staged, meaning the attacker has to gain access to the network in phases. Firewall prevents the rest of the network from getting hacked.
Most POS systems in Singapore come with at least one Firewall installed in them. But you can also use other third-party firewalls such as Intrusion Prevention and Anti-Malware.
(c) You must create a strong password comprising of multiple characters and letters to deter the cybercriminal from hacking into the system. Remember we said that hackers will test your system using default passwords.
(d) Implement a special anti-virus into the POS system to set up a primary and secondary defense level. It should make it harder for them to gain access.
(e) If you’re using a VPN network, ensure it’s an encrypted one.
(f) Make sure you’ve protected the POS system from MAC spoofing within the network and anywhere else the POS is active in communication. These are settings that can be enabled inside the POS system.
POS Software Singapore: Things to do when you suspect a hacker is in progress
Temporarily bring down the network to prevent access of your POS system to the internet. This will prevent further communication of the system with the hackers, thus making it harder for them to continue.
Implement a Botnet filtering and Geo-IP systems to the network. If your customers are only based in Singapore, disable access from other countries apart from Singapore.
With these tips, your POS Software will be safe and sound. They will find it harder to attack you, and this will make them give up when they discover there’s no other way to gain access to your data.