POS Systems in Danger Due to Upcoming Security Risk
Windows XP and Windows XP Embedded Ceasing Updates and Security Patches
With the end of updates and security patches coming for Windows XP, followed by Windows XP Embedded in January 2016, many point of sale (POS) systems are at risk of being compromised by virus, malware and hackers.
Modern day POS systems are specially configured PCs with sale software pre-installed and capable of being connected to a number of useful devices, such as credit card readers and barcode scanners. Since most of the POS systems run on Windows XP and Windows XP Embedded, customer information and data could be compromised by malware or hackers. The reason behind the potential risk after Microsoft has ended its support for the two operating systems is not only because the implemented security system would grow obsolete, but also because it will no longer be updated, so any new security holes will not be fixed via patches. This could result in large amount of customer and retail data being stolen by hackers, or the POS PC being infected by malware.
Nigel Tan, Director of Systems Engineering for Symantec Malaysia, explained that there are many steps of which store owners and POS system users may be able to protect their POS systems, but gave an overall reminder that they should also implement layered security on the specialty PCs and on the network they are on. Tan stated that a properly configured firewall and security layer can protect their data even from the most determined hacker.
Nigel Tan, Director of Systems Engineering for Symantec Malaysia.