By Charles Leaver

Point-of-sale attacks on the rise

Trust is integral to good business. Without a strong, trusting bond between business and customer, the latter party may well be inclined to take their business elsewhere. The last thing a customer wants to hear is that their credit card has been compromised. And yet in a business world fraught with cybercrime, security is no longer something that can be taken for granted.

An alarming finding necessitates action
A recent security report carried out for the fourth financial quarter of 2013 found that POS malware attacks are becoming easier to launch, according to ITWeb.

“The fourth quarter of 2013 will be remembered as the period when cybercrime became ‘real’ for more people than ever before,” said Vincent Weafer, an executive at the security lab that filed the report.

The problem lies in the ever-increasing sophistication of cybercriminals. Where hackers were once thought of as scattered, they now seemingly operate as a single cohesive unit – swapping malware codes over online forums and helping fellow criminals mount attacks.

Particularly illustrative of this sophistication was the 2013 holiday malware attack on retail giant Target, which resulted in a breach of information for more than 100 million customers. Perhaps just as shocking as the number of customers affected, though, was the revelation that the attack had been carried out by cheap “off the shelf” malware that had likely been purchased for less than $2,000, Forbes reported. The fact that such a cheap attack could result in untold millions of dollars of damage cued many in to the need for change.

Calling attention to endpoint security as a preventive measure
The elevated sophistication of malware authors calls for increased preparedness among businesses and individuals. Better endpoint data protection is a vital part of the safeguarding process, since it helps ensure that data – particularly data in transit – stays out of the wrong hands.

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