Point-of-Sale Risks for Retail Stores

Around the world, to avoid the next data breach, retailers are hustling around trying to put together systems and processes. Although there have been some great strides made with cyber security, this threat continues to increase and businesses are still very vulnerable.


Symantec, an Internet security firm, reports that occurrences of what are known as ‘mega-breaches’ (where a minimum of 10 million people are exposed), had climbed 700 percent in 2013. People who are in charge of cyber security are very intelligent and work hard; however, it’s not keeping up with these criminals.


The big question is why point-of-sale attacks continue to grow? One predominant reason is that the attackers believe it is more effective stealing sensitive payment card information through the use of malware rather than straight from the e-commerce merchants. As a whole, POS system security measures haven’t been applied as diligently by retailers as they are by third party vendors who can access their systems.


Small businesses are also targeted and make up around 75 percent of data breaches, according to My Digital Shield’s Founder of CEO, Andrew Bagrin. By simply using the technology we have at our disposal today, 95 percent could be avoided, he says. This is why having commercial property insurance is more important than ever.


Aspects of today’s point-of-sale systems thieves target:

  • Wireless access.
  • A cash register.
  • An IP network or in-store voice.
  • A bar-code scanner.
  • A store inventory management system.


Mobile POS is another big problem. Retailers are presented with many challenges due to the expanding use of mobile technologies.  Challenges for mobile POS systems were identified during a study presenting the different stages that are carried out in retail transaction.


These stages include: scanning, validation and payment.  Each stage was presented from five perspectives: employee, store/retailers, technology, customer and product. Through the study it was found that solutions to the challenges brought on by mobile POS for protecting assets will be tailored and individualized to the retailers specifically, much like the systems themselves.  This will allow retailers to come up with solutions that best suits them uniquely.


The purpose of this study was to assist asset protection professionals in identifying threats that were specific to their business, come up with unique solutions for addressing them now and stay ahead of the game.


By not having the right kind of commercial  insurance, including cyber liability insurance, or none at all, you are putting your business at risk of a cyber-security breach or POS breaches. This could end up consuming your personal assets or even closing down your business.