Preventing a POS Data Breach at Your Restaurant

Preventing a POS Data Breach at Your RestaurantPreventing a POS Data Breach at Your Restaurant

From Facebook to Wawa to Equifax, data breaches are happening more and more often—and they’re affecting millions of U.S. consumers. A data breach is when information is accessed without express permission. Hackers can find their way into your POS system and steal credit card information, social security numbers, personal data, and more—without you or your guests even knowing. We’re seeing them more and more because of technology’s hold on our economy, and skilled hackers know how to take advantage of our digital footprints. A cyberattack on your POS system can cost your business money and customers. Any small business with a POS system is vulnerable to a data breach, so today we’re exploring ways to prevent a data breach at your restaurant.

Be PCI Compliant

Being PCI compliant means you, as a vendor, adhere to the security rules outlined by the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). Not being compliant is a risk you take as a business owner who accepts credit cards. If you don’t follow the standards laid out and you experience a data breach, your business could be considered liable. You can learn more about becoming compliant over at, and check out this list from Huffington Post to get an overview of how to become PCI compliant.

Keep Your POS from External Networks

Hackers don’t need to actually be in your restaurant to take a bite out of your data. They can be sitting in a room miles away and still install software onto your devices. POS systems that connect to external networks are especially prone to attacks, so plan on processing any payments through a corporate network that’s more secure.

Use Strong Passwords

Once your POS installer has finished putting in your equipment, be sure to change the password. In 2015 if was discovered that a large POS vendor was installing systems and using the same exact username and password for every client, for 25 years—leaving a door wide open for attacks. While your POS company may have created a unique password for your business, it pays to be safe by changing it. In addition to using a powerhouse password, be sure to delete cardholder information unless it’s absolutely necessary. If there isn’t anything worthy of stealing, hackers can’t succeed.

Get Antivirus Protection

You have antivirus on your personal computer, and there is no reason it shouldn’t also be on your POS system. To keep malware from infiltrating your POS devices, be sure to install endpoint protection software. As defined by Comodo, “Endpoint Protection refers to the approach of protecting a business network when accessed by remote devices like smartphones, laptops, tablets or other wireless devices. It includes monitoring status, software, and activities. The endpoint protection software is installed on all network servers and on all endpoint devices.”

Just as your personal computer security software scans your device regularly, antivirus tools will do the same for your POS systems. They’ll scan your software and alert you to any apps or files that need to be removed ASAP.

Hackers are getting more and more advanced every day, and sometimes it can seem hard to keep up. Following these tips on preventing a POS  data breach at your restaurant can make sure your guests can focus on a delicious meal rather than identity theft.