POS Resellers To Clients: You're Just As Vulnerable As The Big Retailers

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The problem is different at regional restaurant chains, hotels and department stores, where attacks have increased and resulted in more data breaches in recent years, according to separate breach reports issued in 2013 by Trustwave and Verizon. Retail made up the bulk of breaches in Trustwave's report. Both reports show cybercriminals attempting to target smaller regional businesses because they have limited IT staff, resulting in poorly maintained systems and inadequate security processes.

Bilton and other point-of-sale system resellers say they are constantly educating business owners to take Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards seriously.

"It doesn't matter if it's a small business or giant company, hackers try to target everybody," said Gilson Marcos, a master technician at BostonPOS, a point-of-sale system provider. "Even if it's a small coffee shop, they need to think about security or they will suffer with a bad reputation once their customers look at their credit card statements and see unauthorized charges."

Marcos and other resellers say they are busy ripping out outdated systems mainly running Windows XP, which Microsoft is due to retire in April. Clients also are asking for more modern payment systems that support payments on tablets and smartphones, rather than heavy-duty payment terminals, Marcos said.

Marcos said most of BostonPOS' clients are upgraded to more modern point-of-sale software as part of standard support contracts. "The ones who want to upgrade are not necessarily looking for better security, they want to increase the convenience for their customers," he said. "Once they upgrade, the hope is that security improvements come with it."

Smaller point-of-sale system resellers often specialize in system implementation but lack cybersecurity skills, said Kevin Din, CEO of KDNY Systems, a New York-based company that specializes in point-of-sale system sales, video surveillance and merchant services. Increased competition and low-cost systems have made the profit margin on purely reselling new POS systems very low, forcing smaller dealers to find other specialty areas, Din said. A growing part of the business for resellers is providing ongoing IT services, he said.


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