POS Sys­tems in Dan­ger Due to Up­com­ing Se­cu­rity Risk

Win­dows XP and Win­dows XP Em­bed­ded Ceas­ing Up­dates and Se­cu­rity Patches

HWM (Malaysia) - - REPORT -

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.

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