Qapitol QA

Security Testing of POS Sytems & Apps

Table of Contents

With the global market expanding to incorporate POS systems, experts predict that POS terminals will continue to grow from 2019 to 2025 at a CAGR of 7.8%. The digital transformation of the retail industry also comes with many pitfalls, from data loss to unauthorized information breach. Thus, it suffices to say that the two supporting pillars of a sound POS system are security and testing. While testing the overall system is essential, security testing ensures there is no room for security interference. In 2019, one of the top POS priorities was security. A report based on BRP POS/Customer engagement survey 2019 states that 45% of the retailers are focused on complying with payment security standards.

Basic security compliance

All retailers opting for the POS system for an omnichannel experience is bound by law to uphold PCI DSS compliance. While the regulation makes it safer for consumers to shop across different channels, POS security is not limited to PCI DSS compliance. Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) is an integral part of any POS establishment process, and companies are mandated to adhere to them.

Security testing for POS system

Architecturally, there are three components for POS testing — terminal, enterprise server, and storage server. Each of these is tested to ensure there are no glitches in the hardware or device, disaster recovery, interface tests. In order to understand these components of the POS system, there are two types of testing that are conducted.

  • Application-level testing is reports based. This type of testing involves checking for faults or loopholes in the payment gateway for hackers to enter through. At this testing, the third-party application integrated is tested for compatibility and functionality to ensure that it performs all the necessary tasks.
  • Enterprise-level testing is more holistic and company-wide. At this level of testing, there are several parameters that undergo meticulous screening, including compliance, mobility, data migration, performance, interoperability, among others. Since the company already has a system in place and POS is newly installed, this enterprise-level testing helps understand how the two systems are interacting and working together.

While this takes care of the fundamental security part, here is a list of recommendations one must follow to keep POS systems safe from hackers and breach of data.

Efficient cash management 

Using multiple payment points implies there are several registries to the cash inventory. If the POS system is made up-to-date with the latest financial status at all times, the room for error comes down. This system also discourages theft as the chance for discrepancies comes down. Through this cash management system inside POS, managers can quickly find faults, if any, in the cash management practices before any major issues.

Monitored access

Another recommended practice is to assign select employees with data based on their role. For instance, retailers can ensure that the inventory list is accessible only from the managerial level. This role-based POS access prevents data from being misused. Also, POS systems can be customized to be accessed with unique login code, thus ensuring that unwarranted accesses are avoided.

Multiple storage options 

It is recommended that the practice segment the information available inside the POS network in different places. This practice allows the company not to be completely compromised in case of a security breach as hackers can gain access to one part of the server but cannot control the entire system through a single access point.

Qapitol QA was chosen as testing partner for one of the largest implementation of Oracle Xstore POS by a global textile and fashion company. The implementation included implementing the POS technology across several thousand stores and hundreds of brands. Qapitol QA has one of the best Xstore POS testing teams with deep experience in complex implementations. 

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