POS Malware: Why the Hospitality Industry Must Protect Itself

POS (point of sale) malware is big business for cyber criminals. They use malicious software designed to steal payment data from checkout systems. They usually go after credit card data, either using it themselves or selling it on the dark web.

Traditionally, POS systems had to be infiltrated onsite, but POS malware is far more attractive for criminals because it drastically reduces the risk they need to take. Malware is implanted remotely, so criminals don’t even need to set foot on your premises. Once POS malware has entered your system, it will be able to hunt for and transmit data.

Why is the Hospitality Industry So at Risk?

All kinds of businesses can be attacked using POS malware, but those within the hospitality industry are extremely attractive.

Cyber criminals want access to the most lucrative information, and hospitality businesses tend to require just that sort of data. As well as credit cards, they tend to handle email addresses, physical address details, personal data, and even passport information, and all of that data can command a high price. What makes attacks even more likely is that POS systems used within the hospitality industry tend to be used frequently, and they often act as gateways to regional, national, or even global systems.

In the end, statistics speak louder than words, and research has shown that a staggering 74% of all hospitality industry cyberattacks involve POS intrusions.

How Can You Protect Against POS Malware?

Working with a dedicated IT security support provider goes a long way towards protecting your business against POS malware. The most important service they’ll provide is remote monitoring of your systems. That means that any suspicious traffic will be recorded, so POS attacks should be uncovered quickly.

IT professionals will be able to provide end-to-end encryption. Even if POS malware succeeds in stealing information, the data itself will be impossible for malicious readers to read. Finally, they will make sure that your POS software is always up to date with the latest patches, which will have been configured to protect against known POS malware.