6 Facts about Point-of-Sale Fraud which everyone needs to know

The point of sale fraud has become very common these days. The point of sale (POS) systems comprises of software and hardware for recording sales and other data regarding operations of a retail store. These systems carry information of even tens of millions of dollars. 

In case the system is hacked it is easy to trace secret key which is used to initiate any transaction including the 16-digit payment card numbers and pins to unlock POS systems. The breach of POS may be due to the virus in the system or human attack by cybercriminals in order to steal the secret information.

It can easily hack personally identifiable information and ID numbers of merchants. This confidential information is to be sold in respective black markets for evil purposes which lead to cyber thefts.

Here are some points which every retail and POS system based businesses should know to avoid the point of sale fraud.

2786 6 Facts about Point-Of-Sale Fraud which everyone needs to know

The risk for retailers

All retailers are at risk of breach of POS at any time. Usually small and medium-sized businesses are more at risk as the security systems are not advanced and hackers can easily bypass security systems. In 2014 on average the cost per each breach was estimated to be $201.

Multiple attack methods

The cyber-crime attack methods used for the point of sale fraud mainly comprise of skimming and memory scraping. It involves interception of payment card data.

Easy Targets for criminals

The point of sale systems is widely installed in hypermarkets which is an easy target for hackers who can take steal thousands of dollars. Half of the total credit card frauds occur in US and rest of the half is committed in rest of the world.

Technology improvements

Date magnetic strip technology is commonly in use for transactions in North America. By coming October, every retail user has to use EMV chip and PIN technology in his debit or credit card.

The PCI (Payment Card Industry) Security Standards Council has emphasized on information generation regarding PCI compliance. This new system will provide strict security for more than 700 transactions per POS system.

Smart Criminals

Cyber criminals are quick minded and can give a very tough time to retailers. Retailers need to improve the security of their systems in order to avoid any kind of theft by hackers. Retail businesses should incorporate an incident response plan for sufficient security measures.

Internet Connection the biggest risk

The Cisco 2014 Midyear Security Report on Industry Trends has explained that the POS which are constantly connected to the internet can easily be hacked by hackers resulting in the theft of confidential information.

They have an easy access to point of sale system which leads to costly thefts. It is recommended for retail systems to detach their data systems from internet and WIFI connectivity. It lessens the risk of online hacks and thefts to a minimum level.


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Steve has been living in Saudi Arabia since 2013 and writing about Saudi rules, regulations, guides, and procedures since then.