Beware of malware: how to protect yourself from retail’s biggest security threat

22 March 2015

In 2014, several globally renowned retailers learned the hard way that no organisation is safe from a growing threat to payment security: malware.

Staples, Target and The Home Depot were among those affected by data breaches, with malware Point of Sale attacks in particular increasing during the year.

Cyber criminals will exploit any weak point within a system and, once malware is installed, it can travel throughout your network. To help your business safeguard valuable customer data in 2015, here are some top tips for securing your payments systems – as recommended by the PCI Security Standards Council:

Prioritise password security
Back-office computers are a prime target for malware attacks. To reduce the risk of a security breach, regularly change all default passwords to something that hackers will find difficult to decipher. Also send out requests for employees to change their work passwords at least once a quarter.

Update anti-virus software
In a fast moving industry like retail, it’s easy for tasks that don’t impact everyday trading – such as performing software updates – to slip down the radar. However, this increases the risk of customer data becoming compromised, which will have a significant impact your business revenue and customer relationships.

Secure your payments network
One of the most effective ways to protect sensitive information is to encrypt data at the Point of Sale. Vodat’s Unified Payment Solution not enhances security even further by removing and encrypting customer card data from the merchant network altogether – storing it in a secure data centre.

Work with trusted third parties
Even if your internal security protocol is watertight, there could still be weaknesses in your payments network through third party vendors. Ensure that you are working with organisations that implement the latest data protection standards, as outlined by the PCI Security Standards Council.

 

Beware of malware: how to protect yourself from retail’s biggest security threat

In 2014, several globally renowned retailers learned the hard way that no organisation is safe from a growing threat to payment security: malware.

Staples, Target and The Home Depot were among those affected by data breaches, with malware Point of Sale attacks in particular increasing during the year.

Cyber criminals will exploit any weak point within a system and, once malware is installed, it can travel throughout your network. To help your business safeguard valuable customer data in 2015, here are some top tips for securing your payments systems – as recommended by the PCI Security Standards Council:

Prioritise password security
Back-office computers are a prime target for malware attacks. To reduce the risk of a security breach, regularly change all default passwords to something that hackers will find difficult to decipher. Also send out requests for employees to change their work passwords at least once a quarter.

Update anti-virus software
In a fast moving industry like retail, it’s easy for tasks that don’t impact everyday trading – such as performing software updates – to slip down the radar. However, this increases the risk of customer data becoming compromised, which will have a significant impact your business revenue and customer relationships.

Secure your payments network
One of the most effective ways to protect sensitive information is to encrypt data at the Point of Sale. Vodat’s Unified Payment Solution not enhances security even further by removing and encrypting customer card data from the merchant network altogether – storing it in a secure data centre.

Work with trusted third parties
Even if your internal security protocol is watertight, there could still be weaknesses in your payments network through third party vendors. Ensure that you are working with organisations that implement the latest data protection standards, as outlined by the PCI Security Standards Council.