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At the core of each successful restaurant, is a point of sale system. The restaurant POS system serves as the primary system for processing and managing transactions. Like any payment technology, it can be susceptible to data breaches and employee theft.

As a restaurant manager or owner, it’s important to make sure that your POS system is secure and up-to-date with the latest security protocols and best practices. With more businesses switching to digital payment systems, POS security needs to be taken seriously. In this blog post, we’ll look at the top five restaurant POS security questions you should consider in order to protect your customers’ data and keep your business running smoothly.

#1. Is Our Online Access SSL Protected?

When it comes to security, it’s important to make sure that any online access you’re providing is SSL (Secure Socket Layer) protected. This is a protocol that ensures data is encrypted when sent over the internet, protecting customer data and other sensitive information from hackers and malicious actors. Make sure that your POS system has an SSL protection certificate installed and is configured properly, so that all transactions are secure.

#2. Have We Employed a Point-to-Point Encryption System?

Another important security measure for POS systems is the use of point-to-point encryption (P2PE). This type of system encrypts data from the moment it’s entered into the consumer’s device all the way to the payment processor in order to ensure that it isn’t intercepted by any malicious actors.

Make sure your restaurant is secured with a P2PE solution that meets industry standards, such as PCI DSS, in order to protect customer data.

#3. Have We Installed Security Software?

POS security software can keep your data safe even when networks are down or forced offline. According to The SANS Institute (PDF), local authentication is “traditionally less robust and stores all transactions locally until the network is brought back online. By forcing the location to store all the transactions locally, this creates an opportunity for the bad actor to easily collect all the transaction information.”

Restaurants can protect their POS system at all times by using with security software that works without a network connection. “By locking down a trusted image to an approved whitelist, the security controls should be active and effective without dependency on software and signature updates,” notes McAfee.

#4. Is Our Restaurant POS Software Up-to-Date?

Ensuring that your restaurant’s POS software is up-to-date is an important part of keeping it secure. Make sure that all of your software and hardware components are running on the most current versions available, as these will include the latest security patches and bug fixes. Additionally, consider setting up automatic updates so that you can be sure everything stays current without any extra effort on your part.

#5. Have We Changed Passwords or Scanned Recently?

Another way to limit internal and external theft is regularly testing and changing passwords. The Point of Sale News says a common mistake in maintaining maximum security is the use of no password, a weak password, or a password that’s been the same for a long period of time.

If you’re creating a password for the first time, make sure it’s strong enough (the factory default, POS vendor name, and restaurant name are not suggested).

Routine tests for vulnerabilities and compromises are essential too. “Regular scanning is the most effective way to determine whether your systems are at risk or have already been compromised,” continues The Point of Sale News. Whether this is done in-house or remotely, it’s an important step in catching potential entry-points for hackers.


Final Thoughts

A restaurant POS system contains a wealth of information, making it attractive to hackers. Restaurateurs need to protect their software system in order to keep guests’ identities safe.

Restaurants that employ these security tactics lower their chances of seeing customer information and money in the wrong hands. This strategy improves customer trust.

What tactics do you use to keep your restaurant POS system secure?

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