When it comes to POS system security, small retail businesses often seem to have the upper hand over bigger chain retail corporations; hackers seem less likely to target small stores, where stolen data and software corruption is noticed quickly. But in light of so many recent POS system hacks and malware viruses, even small business owners aren’t quite as confident as they once were.
In a new study sponsored by security software provider Tripwire Inc. and conducted by Atomic Research, retail management teams noted that they were less confident in their POS systems than before.
The study was conducted between July and September 2014, and weighed the responses of 276 retail executives and IT technicians in the U.S. and the U.K. with responses from 431 executives in the energy and finance industries.
While only 18% of respondents believed that their POS systems could be targeted by cyber hackers and 20% of respondents stated that they were extremely confident in the security of their point of sale systems, 34% of respondents claimed that they were not at all confident in the security of their retail POS systems.
For comparison, that same study found that 18% of executives in the finance industry and 20% of executives in energy industries were “not confident at all” — showing a huge difference between the perceived security of retail POS systems and that of POS systems used in other industries.
Additionally, 36% of retail execs stated that they weren’t confident that their systems were running on authorized POS software (which provides greater security against malware viruses than unauthorized software does), and among those respondents working in retail IT businesses, 35% did not have enough access to the POS equipment that would allow them to detect a virus or cyberhack — common hardware parts like routers, modems, and firewalls appeared to be off-limits.
Not only has this study revealed that the confidence of retail executives has taken a hard blow from so many recent cyberattacks on other businesses, but it also shows that retail management teams are becoming more aware of the complicated nature of POS security. In most cases, it appears that these executives would prefer to have assistance from a trusted POS software company, rather than try to monitor the security of their systems alone.