Point of Sale Authorization: How to Avoid POS Security Issues?

POS Authorization


Nowadays, every reputable retailer, no matter their size, should use a POS system. Point of sale authorization makes every business more streamlined, is cost-effective, and brings a ton of additional benefits. That said, POS authorization also brings up potential security issues.

So, are there ways to improve POS security standards? If so, what’s the best method to avoid potential POS cyber security issues? In this article, we’ll look into the workings of an average point of sale security system and share with you the best means for increasing POS system security with Hideez.

What are POS Systems?

Before we go deeper into the pros and cons of point of sale authorization, we should first address the primary question. What are point of sale systems? In simple words, a POS system is hardware and software that enables all kinds of different businesses to make sales. Whether the shoppers are buying online or physically at the store’s counter, they interact with a point of sale system during the payment process.

A POS system can include many different types of devices that are linked together and operate through the same POS system. Some of the most common devices you can find in the POS system include:

  • Card Readers
  • Customer-facing Displays
  • Monitors
  • Tablets
  • Smartphones
POS Authorization

In line with this, besides POS systems, nowadays, it’s also essential to understand EPOS systems. Electronic Point of Sale Systems are a combination of hardware and software that deliver efficient processing and tracking of sales.

Many consider EPOS systems the future of successful retail management, and this is perfectly understandable seeing that cloud-based systems are becoming a prevalent trend in the tech industry.

How Does a Point of Sale System Work?

EPOS systems don’t differ that much from classic till systems. You create a system by adding POS software to your POS hardware in the form of an appropriate device, like the ones we’ve listed above.

As EPOS systems store all of the crucial information on the cloud, they allow you to access it any time, from anywhere you wish. This is a fantastic feature for online businesses and digital nomads who are always on the go, as it allows them to check in on their business without any hassle.

To fully understand how a point of sale system works, we should address some of the major advantages of this system. Here are some of the top reasons why small business owners implement EPOS systems in their businesses:

➜ They Make Your Business Faster

Setting up an EPOS system is easier than you could imagine. You can have everything up and running within minutes, even if you don’t have any extensive technical knowledge. Plus, once you start, you can make quick sales with less staff and lower overheads. You can quickly print or email the receipt to every customer. This speed and efficiency increase also improves the overall customer experience, as it makes it more streamlined and less time-consuming.

➜ They Are Very Affordable

Compared to classic registers, POS systems are super affordable. If you only get EPOS in its software form, often you don’t have to pay anything. All you need is a smartphone or tablet to run and compatible software for point of sale to pair it with. You only need to pay attention to the rates and user/membership fees depending on what software you use.

➜ They More Allow Intuitive Inventory Management

A reliable and quality EPOS system allows for easy and streamlined inventory management. You can check stock levels in real-time, update and change different processes, and even monitor wastage, depending on the type of your business. Some EPOS systems can even order stock automatically, making inventory management a breeze and minimizing your responsibilities.

➜ They Enable Easy Integration

With modern EPOS systems being entirely digital, they allow you to easily integrate with other payment providers and accounting tools. This integration enables you to focus on the parts of your business that really matter and focus on what means most to you.

Moreover, you can keep in touch with the latest trend of contactless payments and implement options like Apple Pay, Android Pay, and other payment methods to create better customer experiences.

POS Authorization and POS Security Issues

Additionally, we should answer one more crucial question – what does POS authorization mean? To put it shortly, POS authorization is a process in which the consumer’s payment method verifies that there are sufficient funds to complete the purchase. This is not to be confused with POS authentication, which requires users to confirm who they are before gaining access.

Of course, after going over the advantages of POS systems, it’s only fair to look at the drawbacks of POS. When it comes to this, we’re primarily talking about potential POS security issues. With that in mind, here are some of the main POS security issues you should know about:

  • Running POS on Old Operating Systems
  • Managing Encryption Keys Without Any Hardware Security Modules
  • Using Weak or Predictable Passwords
  • Phishing Attacks and RAM Scraping
  • Accidentally Using Fraudulent Devices

Additionally, it’s worth mentioning that modern point of sale architecture and security depend on the operating system. Moreover, they primarily depend on the layers that make up the architecture itself.

Hideez Security Service with automated POS Authorization

The Hideez Authentication Service is a modern point of sale security system that seamlessly integrates with Windows and Android-based EPOS systems and supports all SAML 2.0 and OpenID service providers. In return, you can rely on lightning-fast passwordless logins to POS systems for your employees. This is because they can conveniently and quickly verify their identity using hardware security keys or even mobile software to log in to computerized POS systems.

The Hideez POS security system is made up of four main components:

  • Hideez Server – Allows to manage employees, their workstations and security keys, ensuring passwordless FIDO2 authentication and mobile SSO across EPOS systems. Ideal for corporate environments, including numerous workstations, users, and devices.
  • Hideez Client – A free Windows-based POS software that connects your workstation with the Hideez Server. The result is the ability of passwordless authentication and proximity-based logons using the Hideez Key hardware security keys or Hideez Authenticator app.
  • Hideez Authenticator – A free mobile app that instantly turns the user’s smartphone into a secure FIDO token and provides passwordless single-sign-on through the Hideez server. The app is available for both Android and iOS devices and can be activated through the Hideez Client.
  • Hideez Keys – Physical security keys you can use as FIDO tokens for passwordless authentication. Each key can automatically generate one-time passwords for 2FA, and lock or unlock Windows-based POS systems based on Bluetooth proximity, and store over a thousand login and password credentials.
POS Authorization

Hideez Authentication Service – Use Cases for POS Systems

POS Authorization

Lastly, to bring it a bit closer to the main topic of this article and help you understand how the Hideez Authentication Service can help your business, let’s take a closer look at a few use cases for POS systems:

Use Case 1. POS Authorization for Warehouses

Employees in warehouses often have to deal with full-fledged computer systems capable of tracking many shipments and general tasks. To up their point of sale security requirements without affecting productivity, they can use the Hideez Authenticator or the handy Hideez Keys. That way, they could conveniently lock or unlock their Windows-based POS software and enable seamless 2FA without affecting the workload or efficiency in any way.

Use Case 2. POS Authorization for Police Stations

POS Authorization

Once police officers in the field or in their offices need to use their Android-based POS, they would have to sign in to get access, as they will be redirected to the Hideez server first. To gain access, they could use a classic POS login/password combination.

Alternatively, they can also log in instantly using a physical Hideez Key connected to their table via Bluetooth technology. The Hideez Key is the more convenient access, as it increases the POS security of their devices without affecting the ease of use, as it allows instant but still uncompromisingly secure POS logins.

Use Case 3. POS Authorization for Small Business Owners

POS Authorization

In this context, the Hideez Authentication Service is applicable to nearly all businesses. This includes shops, restaurants, salons, and a long list of other small companies. Employees of small businesses would use standard handheld mobile POS devices.

But, every time they need to log in, they would have to input their login/password combination. More conveniently, they could also instantly verify their identity with the Hideez Key through a passwordless signal sign-on based on FIDO2 and U2F standards.

If you’re an enterprise interested in trying out the Hideez Authentication Service, contact us today. You can schedule a personalized demo or request a free 30-day trial to directly test the Hideez Service.


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