Is It Safe to Use Tablets for Restaurant POS?

iPad for POS

As businesses perform more sensitive tasks on tablets, new questions will be raised about the safety of using tablets for restaurant POS.

Do the tablets you are using in your home have virus protection or spy-ware or other “traditional” forms of protection running on them like your “normal” systems do?  No?  Have you ever wondered why not?

Have you heard people say things like “iPad systems don’t get viruses”?  Do you know if that is true or are you just going with the flow because it will save you fifty-bucks?

Be thorough when researching and choosing a system for business

1. iPad systems are not immune to security exploits or other forms of risk.

Recently we’ve all heard about the flaw in Apple systems that exposed sensitive information to hackers allowing them to read private communications sent over Apple devices: emails, instant messages, social media posts and even online bank transactions.

What may be even more alarming to restaurateurs is that the articles and television segments informing the general population about the flaw is telling people “…the hacking ability is limited to people who are on the same network as the hacker — such as in restaurants or coffee shops”.   How comfortable are your customers going to be having their transaction done in a business where this flaw is the most likely to cause them harm?

2. All networked computers are vulnerable, especially wireless

If you have a computer on a network connected to the Internet, it’s vulnerable to some degree.  Networked computers with access to the Internet represent a large part of the reasoning why PCI exists.  Protection in networked scenarios such as this are comprised of layers, everything from firewalls at the network level to firewalls at the device level.  Virus protection, spyware and other smart filtering tools are additional layers.  Encryption solutions that obscure the information in case the bad guys penetrate all the layers are also important.  Whether you are wired or wireless you need to pay attention to your systems security.

The bottom line is, don’t be fooled into thinking because you’ve purchased a tablet solution (iPad, Android, Windows or other) that somehow you are “safer” than a more traditional solution or that tablets are somehow “immune” from having to pay attention to the layering of your protection.  Just the opposite may be the case because of the use of wireless networks needed to run your business on tablets.  Wireless access is inherently open to more vulnerability so it’s more important than ever that your business is diligent in regard to securing and layering protection.

3. The more businesses perform daily operations on tablets, the more exploits you’ll hear about

Apple and Android solutions aren’t magically immune from exploits.  No solution is immune.  Conversely, Windows isn’t somehow hopelessly compromised.  The more today’s businesses perform sensitive tasks on tablets (or phones, or wearable devices, or whatever the next big trend is) the more exploits you’ll hear about because there will eventually be information being transmitted that the bad guys find valuable.

Conclusion

Security considerations may have been something you considered ancillary to your decision in the past, but it’s a factor that should be evaluated thoroughly prior to purchasing a new POS system for your restaurant. At LionWise, we take the time to evaluate your particular business situation and match you to the best solution for your unique needs whether that’s tablets, all-in-one terminals or another alternative. The right POS system will simplify your life and increase the profitability of your business. Click here to learn more about the LionWise Restaurant POS Solutions.

 

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