It seems like every day we see a news headline along the lines of, “Data breach at this company” or, “Ransomware targets that company.” With data breaches and virus attacks taking place on a frequent basis, hoteliers and restaurateurs need to make data security a top priority for their on-property technology.
A data breach or down POS system means lost revenue, turning away business, and even worse, has reputational implications that can last longer term. And of course, these problems never occur on a Monday morning when you’re counting inventory, it’s always a Saturday night in your busy season. Cloud systems, on the other hand, have your backup secured and ready to be deployed on a moment’s notice.
Simple User Security Tips
Basic security upkeep is paramount. Some of the things you and your team can and should be doing include maintaining inventories of systems and data, patching systems regularly, and configuring systems securely. You’ll also want to change passwords often, manage access, remove outdated employees, and limit external attack outlets. Finally, consider any legacy solutions your operation is still using as they represent a potential weak point.
How Cloud POS Affects Security
Cloud-based POS solutions not only provide data security but operational security. Let’s say that it’s a Friday night, and your lobby bar is packed. The orders are flowing, until suddenly your IT server goes down, and takes the POS workstations with it. What now? With a legacy POS system, you will have to shut down until the servers come back up. This means that you lose significant profit from having to turn away unhappy customers.
Cloud POS systems offer data redundancy tools that can prevent the loss of data and business in this scenario. Redundancy is a backup contingency offered by some Cloud POS providers, which runs your POS in a stand-alone mode in the event that you have a network, or internet failure.
While we all like to think that we will not be a victim of a data breach or downtime, the reality is that they are happening more often. Hotels and restaurants should regularly look at their security procedures and make updates as needed. A legacy POS system is one of the weakest links in the data security of an operation. Legacy systems make it difficult to introduce new security controls, so it is more beneficial for an operation to shift to a cloud-based solution that has security and privacy built into its core.
Finding a Secure POS Solution
The key is to choose a POS partner that takes security seriously. Look for a partner that has ‘customer security first’ approach. Security (when it comes to IT) is about protecting data, but protecting oneself of protecting one’s customers and guests are nuances that change the structure.