As many small businesses adopt agile, easier to use and lower cost payment systems, new security challenges arise. There will always be a way to circumvent built-in security, and too many businesses put too much faith in the standard security boasts of certain pay systems--or they don't question security at all. Here are a few issues that could threaten not only customers, but your reputation and even your business assets without a proper series of fixes and assessments.
Wireless Payment Interception
Whether you're using a tap card system or some other way to transmit payment information across a wireless signal, there's a way to intercept the information. First, address one of the biggest misconceptions and willful dangers surrounding payment security.
For many non-technicians--and some experience technicians without security experience--it's an issue of hacking being too difficult to deal with. The statement is usually the same across different security systems, stating that "it will take X amount of time to even crack the security, and by then the information will be expired."
While this may be true now, the issue isn't being able to immediately crack a security system and steal payment information in the moment. When you have unsecured payment information flying through the airwaves, you're enabling research. Hackers aren't just going for the first, most immediate issue; these are geniuses in some cases who are criminals, code professionals, and hobbyists all rolled into one.
Dedicated doesn't quite cover their level of attention. It's fun to capture payment information from other sources and crack the puzzle, and it also has a huge payoff if anyone can succeed. It's not just a single hacker or small group of hackers looking for one big payoff; you could have a local hacker being egged on by an international community to provide samples from your shop.
Securing A Wireless Payment Center
A small shop is the perfect practicing grounds because of a lack of security and often a lack of awareness. If you're going to use a wireless payment system, at least secure yourself by processing all payment in a closed location without a lot of hiding places to make searching for illegal monitoring devices easier.
Make sure that all payment are handled at a dedicated counter, and that the distance between your payment center and the internet connection is too short to easily intercept. Shops that have a payment counter on one side of the building that connects to a wireless access point or router way on the other side of the building are basically asking for hackers to put a receiver in the way.
If distance is an issue, it's time to consider switching to a wired connection or relocating your internet receptacle. Your Internet Service Provider can install a new outlet and even run a different cable if you don't want a long cable running across the building, and your signal will be better if the IT (information technology) equipment is closer to your wireless counter.
Contact an IT PCI (Payment Card Industry) professional, like one from The Cyber Watch, to discuss assessments and improvements to make your business more secure.