Retail Computer SecurityOn January 25th, 2014, Michaels, the world’s largest arts-and-crafts retailer, announced that it “recently learned of possible fraudulent activity on some U.S. payment cards that had been used,” suggesting they had experienced a data breach.

Christina Moyer, a customer in Illinois, sued the company for failing to properly safeguard her confidential data. According to Moyer, Michaels broke their implied promise to protect customer information. She’s filed a complaint on behalf of herself and others who must now spend time and money to deal with the consequences of the breach.

Since December 2013, two other large retailers experienced data breaches for failing to safeguard information. If confirmed, Michaels would be the third largest U.S. retailer to be affected by a data security breach.

  • Last month, Target’s data breach compromised the information of approximately 70 million individuals. At least two-dozen lawsuits were filed against the company within the first week of disclosure.
  • Neiman Marcus Group Ltd.’s data breach compromised 1.1 million customer credit cards.

Both data breaches are undergoing investigation by attorneys general in Connecticut, Illinois, and other locations.

“While we have not confirmed a compromise to our system, we believe it is in the best interest of our customers to alert them to this potential issue,” Michaels CEO Chuck Rubin said in a statement.

With the recent data breaches, many retailers are beginning to realize the importance of information security. Are proper safeguards in place to protect your point-of-sale systems? If not, the following are important steps to take:   

  • Use Strong Passwords

Change the default passwords on your POS systems during installation and on a regular basis using unique account names and complex passwords.

  • Update POS Software Applications

Use only the latest updated POS applications and patches.

  • Install a Firewall

Firewalls can prevent unauthorized access to and from a private network. Use a firewall to protect POS systems from cyber-attacks.

  • Restrict Access to Internet

Restrict access to POS system computers or terminals to protect them from security threats.

It’s critical to protect your POS systems, especially considering the recent data breaches that affected millions of individuals.

To learn more about Michael’s data breach and how to implement proper safeguards to protect your customers’ information, give us a call at (613) 828-1280 or send us an email at Fuelled Networks can help you protect your POS systems, business, and customers.

I have a strong passion for helping Ottawa Businesses, Entrepreneurs and professionals to become more productive and successful while allowing them to feel at ease and secure when it comes to their Information Technology needs. As the President of Fuelled Networks since 1998, I specialize in providing no-nonsense flawless and prompt technical support to Ottawa businesses, with in-depth consulting on Fortinet, Microsoft, Microsoft Cloud Stack and security. I strive to help businesses to succeed and take great pride in building long-lasting positive relationships and taking on a strong leadership role within the Ottawa community.

Published On: 28th January 2014 by Ernie Sherman.