Payment processor First Data has revealed that over the course of the past year, there has been a surge of hacker incidences seeking unauthorized access to systems that use a point-of-sale approach for credit cards. Unfortunately, for small and medium sized businesses, the merchants that are being targeted most heavily by tech criminals are those that are classified as Level 4 by Visa. Such businesses, which process relatively low numbers of transactions each year, are responsible for slightly less than one-third of all credit card transactions that take place in the United States.
These are the very kinds of businesses that have limited resources to safeguard the software systems that can help to prevent point of sale fraud. Smaller merchants may not be fully compliant with all of the standards of the payment card industry. According to Erik Rasmussen, who serves in the Cyber Intelligence Section associated with the Criminal Investigation branch of the US Secret Service, "The number one way criminals are getting in is through remote access to the backhouse server. Payments systems attacks are not going away," added Rasmussen. "In fact, we expect them to grow, as more payments options, through PayPal and Google, for instance, hit the market."
These facts mean that it is particularly essential for small businesses to take advantage of the cost efficiencies and economies of scale that characterize a managed services approach to IT support. A managed services model can help small businesses to secure their servers more fully so that they are not nearly as vulnerable to cyber criminals looking for easy targets.