Guest blog by Brad Caldwell, CEO, SecurityMetrics
Mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) has the potential to forever change the interaction between business and consumer. Because of the low entry barrier to obtain a smartphone or tablet device, many companies now offer mobile as a way for consumers to process their card payment.
Mobile devices were initially developed for communication and convenience, not necessarily security. Now that devices organize the important details of business and private lives on wireless data networks, security is high on the consumer wish list and requires a bit of extra work to achieve.
Many businesses are enthusiastic and ready to implement mPOS. Although seemingly technologically advanced, smartphones and tablets aren’t created with the typical security features that have evolved in computers over decades of development.
As more and more merchants across the world use mobile devices to process customer payment transactions, hackers will continue to adapt their strategies to gain the most sensitive and profitable information from mobile devices.
Unless security precautions are taken, credit card numbers, personal information, and passwords entered, texted, or saved into personal and business mobile devices may be at risk.
Don’t despair. Though mobile security is in its infancy, there are proven methods to securely process via mobile devices. Here are five tips to help your mobile processing strategies stay one step ahead of hackers.
1. Use an encrypt-at-swipe piece of hardware that attaches to your smartphone or tablet to securely process payment cards. Perform due-diligence when selecting mobile POS hardware to ensure it supports encrypt-at-swipe.
2. Minimize manual key entry of customer’s credit card data, even if a card stubbornly refuses to be swiped! While your hardware card reader may encrypt sensitive information at-swipe, your phone does not have that secure capability. Manually-typed data is not encrypted, and a rogue app could be recording those card numbers.
3. Always update both OS and app software so any discovered security holes can quickly be patched.
4. Use discretion when downloading apps. Many pieces of malicious software infect mobile devices by acting as a Trojan horse inside an app. Even some apps that look legitimate may be infected.
5. Use a mobile vulnerability scanner. A mobile vulnerability scanner, such as SecurityMetrics MobileScan, can check a device for security holes that may grant access to hackers.
As an industry leader in securing payments, SecurityMetrics is on the security front lines providing the technology needed to protect mobile devices. Visit them at www.securitymetrics.com/mobilescan for more information.
SecurityMetrics is a sponsor of the 2013 Visa Global Security Summit. Visit them at the SecurityMetrics booth during the event on October 2. For additional information on mPOS acceptance, Visa has published a list of mobile acceptance best practices, which can be accessed here or visit our website for additional information.
Posted by: Brad Caldwell, CEO, SecurityMetrics on September 20, 2013 at 11:14 am