July 12, 2016

Has Your Computer/Cash Register Been Hacked?

By Paul Bieber

No one is going to hack me. I have ten employees and run a small business. About 30 percent of my business is retail. Why would someone from across the world want to hack into my company?

Maybe someone from across the world is not interested in you. But hundreds of hackers would love to see your cash register and bank accounts. Yes, you are the prime target for local hackers, including your own employees!

You handle credit cards on a regular basis for your retail work. Some local kid, trying to learn hacking would find you as a good target. What about your employees who handle customer credit cards? I know that everyone out there thinks that no one in their company would steal this type of information, but the fact is that most offenses against a company are committed by their own employees.

Federal regulations require that you not save anyone’s credit card information for later use. Here are some steps that will help you.

Limit the access of people to your accounting system, your bank records and your cash register/credit card processing. Make sure the people that do have access have extremely strong passwords.

Talk with your computer company to ensure you have a very robust firewall on your system. This will protect your from viruses and malware too. Don’t make it easy for hackers. Be aware if an employee has a high number of voids in their turn at the register, or has discrepancies between the cash in the drawer and the register totals.

Ask your computer wizards to encrypt all the data on your system when you use a wireless credit card scanner or other wireless devices. Since I don’t have a wizard’s license, I can’t tell you how to do this here. I can tell you there is an organization that can help you with this and many more questions.  Go to:  pcisecuritystandards.org.  They are a non-profit organization that can be a source of good knowledge.

When you use your credit card you want the restaurant or store to be very careful with your card. The same goes for your customers.