Florida, known to hold the title for the lightning capital of the United States. Are you protecting your electronic equipment with surge protectors and battery backups?
Hurricane season spans June 1st through November 30th.
- Review your homeowners’ policy (Keep in mind there is a 30 day waiting period for flood insurance to take effect)
- Prep a bag in case you have to leave
- Weigh out the reasons for travel insurance, if necessary
- Lastly, keep an up to date backup of your business and personal electronic records
Hurricanes aren’t the only things to be concerned about, with this season comes heavy rains, high winds and worst of all, LIGHTNING! According to the National Weather Service, the central Florida peninsula from Tampa Bay to Cape Canaveral has the highest lightning concentration in the United States, 90% of the country’s lightning strikes happen in that region between the hours of noon and midnight.
It’s also important to use common sense when engaging in outdoor activities or working outside. (e.g. construction workers, park rangers, golfers, campers etc.) These are the people lightning effects the most. Lightning can travel 10 miles but it has been indicated in some situations to travel as far as 50 miles. Local schools have adopted lightning meters for these instances in particular. There are several smartphone applications that will alert a user when lightning is within a 10-mile radius. Check out Weatherbug, which seems to be popular with most local news outlets.
Keeping Your Home and Business Safe
With Florida being the lighting capital of the world be sure you take extra caution to protect your valuables. Especially business owners, make sure your insurance is intact, that your security system has battery backup, you may want to consider eGuarded’s wireless security system.
Most of all be sure you have your computers and point of sale equipment connected to “surge protectors” at a bare minimum or opt for the extended protection of a battery backup with built-in surge protection. Are uncertain what type of protection you need for your home or business? Feel free to give us a call us at 866.207.3298, we can help you protect your devices.
Today more than ever it’s difficult to turn on your television, tablet, smartphone, or computer without being alerted that another attack on the internet is taking place. At times we hear about hackers taking control of millions of computers with the looming threat of shutting down hundreds of organizations or limiting access to consumer-owned devices. It seems as though it’s a daily routine. Don’t make yourself an easy target for a hacker.
Being hacker aware by making data security a priority to business owners and consumers alike; after all, we’re all someone’s customer.
What are we supposed to do and where do we start?
This is a good beginning to giving you an idea of where some of the faults can be found. Take a look at this interesting Cyber Risk Pressure Test provided by Traveler’s Insurance, to see where you stand. Guidelines like these can help you implement policies in your business, as well as being more conscientious when it comes to protecting the security of your own identity.
Knowledge Is Power Hacker Beware!
Navigating the road to safe payments is the first thing any business owner should be thinking about. Not just to protect your personal business assets but to secure sensitive customer data from being stolen and used fraudulently. The Payment Card Industry (PCI) has established a guideline for business owners to follow in order to protect themselves and customers from wrong doing.
The following is a sample of some shocking statistics compiled relating to businesses being hacked.
$20,752 the average cost to a small business due to hacking
60% of small businesses experienced a cyber breach
71% of hackers attack a business with under 100 employees
60% of small to medium sized businesses involved in a breach close within six months
69% of American consumers worry about the theft of their payment card data
Reference: PCI Security Standards
How To Reduce Your Risk
- Always change default passwords to strong passwords that aren’t easy to guess ex. Fr0gHa!R95
- Keep software up to date
- Install and schedule regular virus scans
- Encrypt data whenever possible
- Protect any network connections, including wi-fi with a strong password
At Card Systems we not only provide our customers with the best and most secure means of payment processing, we also partner with our sister company eGuarded in order to provide the best guidelines outlining the hiring process.
Our customers are our most valuable asset and so is your protection. If we can help please call 866.207.3298 or email your questions
The following story about our restaurant point of sale system with simple EMV integration comes to us as a courtesy of MobileBytes and Skurla’s POS Solutions in Anchorage, Alaska. If you’d like to take a test drive and see this system in action, please contact Card Systems @ 866.207.3298 or email us to set up your demo today!
Implementing EMV is Simple with MobileBytes Restaurant Point of Sale
If you are in the restaurant industry, you may have heard the war stories about implementing EMV in the U.S. As you go through your mental list of places you shop and dine – how many actually have the new CHIP readers integrated into their point of sale system? And of those that do – how many actually work? Lots of places have them, but the CHIP reader is still not available for use in a majority of major restaurant point of sale systems.
In the Point of Sale world, mass confusion abounds. In my experience as the CEO of Skurla’s POS Solutions, many of the major Point of Sale providers STILL don’t have an EMV solution that works. Or maybe they have a solution that works for some kinds of payment types, but not others.
For a while, it seemed that we were uninstalling and reinstalling more EMV solutions than we had successfully installed. Hundreds of man hours were wasted trying to get solutions working – and some still don’t work! Our customers were frustrated, and we were pulling our hair out.
Enter The MobileBytes Restaurant Point of Sale Solution
That was until MobileBytes rolled out its EMV solution. Don’t get me wrong, when we went to install our first EMV readers at a MobileBytes customer site – I assumed that just like all of the other systems we had worked with, we would run into major problems – and that hours (if not weeks) would be spent back and forth with the MobileBytes team and our installers. I expected that we would have to uninstall and reinstall the software several times.
On the day of the installation, I waited in my office for a phone call from either our installer or the owner – telling me that the system was not working as it should. The restaurant opened at 11:00 am. At 11:30 a.m., I hadn’t heard anything. I assumed the worst. Finally, at 12:30 p.m., I couldn’t stand it anymore, and I called our installer to ask for an update.
When I called him, he told me he was already back in the office.
I expected to hear they had halted the install and decided to do it later. But instead, he told me it was the easiest EMV installation he had ever done.
The MobileBytes EMV solution worked right out of the box! The customer was actually using the system with the CHIP reader enabled. And it was fast – transactions actually ran just as fast as before!
All for a fraction of the cost of many other systems.
We’ve since installed MobileBytes EMV in many restaurants, and the installation is always quick and painless. Just another reason to love MobileBytes.
Big thanks to Skurla’s and Mobilebytes for sharing this great story of how easy it is to integrate an EMV solution for the food service industry.
Don’t forget to schedule your FREE demo to see how MobileBytes can make your business more efficient while securing your customer’s sensitive data.
Call today 1.866.207.3298 or Message us to make an appointment today
By now you have heard about the WannaCry ransomware attack affecting organizations around the world today. This serious threat isn’t just affecting large businesses, it is widespread. It could put your business at a standstill, so take it seriously. Make sure you backup your systems and keep a copy offsite. Install the patch, update your antivirus and run it now!
This criminal act poses a very real threat to the lives and property of innocent people and countries around the world. “This is inexcusable,” the official said. “The FBI, NSA, Homeland Security Department and others are working around the clock to stop the spread of this ransomware and bring the criminals behind this to justice”.
To read more, go directly to the Wall Street Journal.
Even if you only have one computer, download security updates as soon as they’re available – no matter what operating system you use. Hackers are constantly looking for security gaps. Don’t become an easy target. Close those gaps as soon as you discover them. Download and install updates right away. Most operating systems have a setting to download and install security updates automatically. Use it, and install updates on a regular schedule for your other software as well, including apps. Check at least weekly.
Tips from the FTC along with other things you can do to prepare for a ransomware attack
- Back up your files. From tax forms to family photos, make it part of your routine to backup and backup often… business, home and mobile devices. When you finish, log out of the cloud or your computer and make sure you unplug your external hard drives so hackers can’t encrypt and lock your back-ups, too.
- Think twice before clicking on links or downloading attachments and apps in your emails. Ransomware often is downloaded through phishing emails. You also can get ransomware from merely visiting a compromised site or through malicious online ads.
For more consumer information on how to protect your business today, go to the Federal Trade Commission blog.
Flokibot – POS Malware
A new point of sale malware spotted in the wild named “Flokibot” is slowly making it’s way to point of sale systems worldwide. The Flokibot malware was found compromising several point of sale systems in South Amerca, explicitly Brazil. A limited number of reports have been received from merchants targeted in other areas of the globe. These stories stretch from Australia all the way to the United States.
Flokibot, first uncovered back in September of 2016 as specifically targeting financial systems like point of sale devices. This software uses many variants to bypass security screening and detection within these types of devices.
With the potential to spread much further than it already has Visa has issued best practices guideline for merchants to reduce their risk of exposure to the Flokibot malware. The following are a few bullets that may require an IT professional to help you implement from that release:
- Maintain a patch management program, update all software, hardware, and firmware to most current release. These steps will limit the attack surface for zero-day vulnerabilities.
- Educate employees about avoiding phishing scams and safely opening emails with attachments
- Perform file integrity monitoring and alert on changes to explore.exe and svchost.exe processes on endpoints.
Chip and pin cards are harder to steal data from for potential hackers. Adoption of chip and pin technology is strongly recommended for merchants who have not updated their technology. Retailers should work with their IT professional to be aware of and execute the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) to enhance security at each location further.
This malware is further reason why merchants should be diligent in adopting chip and pin technology. This technology makes it harder for fraudsters to steal consumer information. Card users should also be aware of the protections that technology provides them.
Consumers should also be wary of email requests for credit card information, using credit cards in lesser known non-reputable stores, and subscribe to bank transaction updates to further increase their personal payment security.
The Recent Chipotle Breach
Did Malware Compromise the Point Of Sale System?
Chipotle Mexican Grill is just one more large scale merchant to report a possible data breach in its point of sale system. According to a Chipotle representative, the company recently discovered unauthorized activity on the network that supports payments in its over 2,000 restaurants. The investigation focuses on transactions processed between March 24th and April 18th of this year. The organization believes it has stopped the suspicious network activity. Furthermore, it has notified card networks, in turn, they will notify issuing banks who will notify any affected customers.
Could this have been due to a malware variant of Flokibot?