Category Archives: POS Security

Should You Move to a Cloud-Based Point of Sale?

As technologies continue to move to the cloud, point of sale (POS) systems are following that trend and becoming increasingly cloud-based. Cloud-based POS systems can offer many advantages over the more traditional “hardwired” systems.

The greatest advantage with perhaps the largest impact to business owners is cost. POS becomes a low monthly fixed cost system with all services included.

POS systems can now be streamlined networks that connect to mobile systems and software that provide multiple data points about consumers. With this kind of information, businesses can drive highly-customized, automated loyalty programs.

The system can also be accessed online from anywhere and like traditional POS, can be integrated with hardware and peripherals like cash drawers, scanners and printers. By interconnecting every part of the system, you minimize friction throughout the process.

So what are the major advantages to cloud-based POS?

  • Cost: Cloud-based POS systems cost significantly less than their traditional counterparts because configuration costs are lower.
  • Convenience: Owners can access customer data anywhere they can connect to WiFi.
  • Centralized Data: All of your data is stored in one place, and can be accessed virtually.
  • Security: Since everything is stored in the cloud, you don’t have to worry about certain network vulnerabilities that exist with other traditional systems.

In general, using cloud-based POS systems give your business flexibility. By streamlining the hardware and networks used to run your sales, you can remove multiple opportunities for human error, cyberthreats, and system breakdowns. Combine these benefits with the other features of mobile POS, and you have an easy business decision in bringing your POS to the most up-to-date infrastructures in the cloud.

Ready to upgrade your POS? Download our POS Checklist to see if moving your system to the cloud is the right decision for you.



Last Friday, a huge ransomware attack began in Europe, Japan, China and is still lingering. The WannaCry software has locked thousands of computers in more than 150 countries. Users are confronted with a screen demanding payment in order to restore their files.

Last Friday, a huge ransomware attack began in Europe, Japan, China and is still lingering. The WannaCry software has locked thousands of computers in more than 150 countries. Users are confronted with a screen demanding payment in order to restore their files.

Ransomware is a very fast growing and threatening type of malware attack. Everyone is a target, no matter how large or small your company is. Large companies like Target, T.J. Maxx, and Home Depot, have been attacked and had their customer data compromised. But what about smaller businesses? 1 in 5 small businesses hit by a ransomware attack are forced to close their doors. They just aren’t able to afford the payment demands and have lost years of company data.

7 Tips to Defeat Ransomware

Luckily, Friday’s the attack was thwarted before it could hit every state in the U.S., but it’s not over. The attackers will realize how they were stopped, they’ll change the code, and start again. Your POS software and firewall updates are urgent right now. Your POS solutions provider can make these updates. There are solutions available to help you safeguard your POS system and your biusiness. The cost to protect yourself from a threat can be far lower than the cost in time & money of losing your data, and not being able to serve your customers or potentially having to rebuild your IT infrastructure. Download our “7 Tips to Defeat Ransomware” for additional information. Just one tip could save your business.

Best Practices for Securing Your Restaurant

As a restaurant owner, protecting your employees and customers is probably one of the most challenging parts of your job. Drawing customers into your restaurants for increased business must be balanced with the concerns of crime, loss, liability, food safety and security.

Restaurant owners and managers should consider a proactive approach to their security program. From quick serve and fast casual to fine dining, four best practices can be taken to protect against losses and increase the safety of employees and customers in the restaurant environment:

1: Complete a Risk Evaluation. A thorough risk evaluation from a local technology provider will help give an objective review of your existing security plan, identify vulnerabilities and pinpoint opportunities for areas where you can efficiently reduce risk. The risk assessment should be completed by a knowledgeable and reputable provider for each and every location.  Be sure to discussing typical concerns like restaurant entrances, food product storage areas and cash POS stations, you should review areas that may need monitoring, like vendor delivery areas and ventilation system access. Review crime statistics around your business to help you determine the potential for the rate of crimes in your area, as well as what crimes are common. Determine nearby businesses, including those businesses with that are not similar to yours that might be more likely to attract a customer base that could potentially increase the crime rate.

2: Install or Upgrade Your Security Technology. Based on findings from your risk evaluation, you may need to install or upgrade your security technology. The solution may include a combination of intrusion detection with monitoring and video surveillance. These solutions will help increase the profitability of your restaurant by reducing losses from false alarms or employees giving-away merchandise without charge to friends and family. Your chosen solution should allow you to have an audit trail of critical areas of your business and employees at all times.

Key components of your physical security program should include:

  • Intrusion detection system, back door alarms and motion detectors to protect from burglary
  • Video surveillance system with DVR and cameras placed to monitor entrances, the drive-thru, parking lots, POS terminals, food prep areas, and manager office
  • Public view monitors to deter crime, since criminals are less likely to strike when it is clear they are under surveillance
  • Appropriate security surveillance signage posted in plain sight at entrances and throughout property

3: Regularly Train Employees on Your Security Program. Training employees is a critical component of executing an effective restaurant security program. Employees must be trained regularly on cash handling policies, as well as how to handle security-related incidents, such as a robbery.

Installing cameras at various locations is the first step in monitoring activities, but your employees should be aware that they are being monitored. Instructing employees that you will be observing for incidents like cash theft, food and beverages, as well as passing free food items to friends and family, will help deter these forms of employee theft. Regularly training employees on the proper use of the security systems can ensure that employees, customers and assets are protected and help avoid false alarms. As you implement your plan and integrate your security systems, engage your employees in the plan. Soliciting feedback and support will communicate to your employees that they are valuable assets to the team.

4: Evaluate and Monitor the Effectiveness of the Security Plan As your security plan is implemented, it is important evaluate the effectiveness of that plan. Evaluate them regularly and consistently.  When actual security incidents occur, debrief and document the details for training purposes, and change your security plan as necessary. Security planning is cyclical, so it is important to regularly revisit your plan starting with step one. As your restaurant grows or changes, you will want to consider scheduling a product technology update with your security provider in order to ensure you are applying the most effective solutions available within your budget

Establishing an effective, proactive restaurant security program can increase security and safety for your employees and customers, while contributing to the company’s overall profitability. By applying these steps in your approach, you can help to protect against losses and keep your customers and employees safe and secure.

Keep Your Restaurant Safe from Ransomware Attacks

In March of this year, the owner of Hard Times Café in Rockville, MD tried to log onto his back office system and the screen was frozen. He could not access any files and spent hours on the phone with his POS Solutions provider when he was greeted with a ransomware message demanding $10,000, paid by Bitcoin, to release encrypted files.

Ransomware is a type of malware that prevents users from accessing their system, either by locking the system’s screen or by locking the user’s files unless a ransom is paid through certain online payment methods to get a decrypt key.

The FBI’s advice was either pay the ransom or shut down your systems and rebuild from scratch. But Roth would rather wipe out the old and start again, before getting in business with criminals. And that’s what Hard Times Cafe did. More than three decades of data was gone, thirty-five full and part-time employees were out of work for a week while the restaurant was closed and revenue was lost.

Ransomware attacks are on the rise and have quadrupled in the first half of 2016 alone. According to CNN the digital extortion of ransomware is expected to grow to $1 billion by the end of 2016. You can’t prevent a ransomware attack, but you can protect against it.

Here’s what you can do:

1. Keep your software up to date. Make sure you regularly update security, anti-virus and anti-malware software, including operating systems.

2. Staff awareness and education. Organizations typically get infected by ransomware through an end-user clicking on a web link or downloading an attachment that is infected with the virus. Always double check the source and refrain from opening unknown attachments. If you are not sure, don’t click it!

3. Complete regular data backups to minimize the impact of ransomware on your business. Information can be restored back to its original state and allows an infected machine to be returned to any point in time prior to the attack – just like going back in time!

With available solutions such as cloud data backup, managed firewalls, and enhanced credit card security protection programs for your POS system, there are ways to mitigate the chances of loss. These services help to protect you, ensure a successful backup of your data, and aid in reducing the risk of loss with minimal impact to users. These services provide a way to gain access to mission critical data during and after a potential ransomware or malware attack – You are never locked out!