In today’s landscape, restaurants are rapidly embracing technology to drive operational efficiency and elevate their guest experience. On average, brands now work with 20 to 30 technology vendors – ranging from POS systems, online ordering and delivery aggregators to loyalty programs, back-office tools, a plethora of digital payment methods and more. Ultimately, this recent technology surge has led to a significant increase in the volume of customer data that restaurants generate and need to manage, making data protection a paramount concern. Plus, with restaurant networks being routinely accessed by numerous staff and vendors within their ecosystem, new challenges have emerged in safeguarding this information. In an era marked by increasing data breaches and cyber attacks, data security is a top concern for IT and technology leaders in the hospitality industry.
Sitting at the core of a restaurant’s technology stack, the POS system is a critical bulwark in ensuring its security and compliance. This is because the POS handles sensitive payment information and acts as a bridge to various third-party vendors, making it a prime target for potential threats and breaches. Data breaches, when successful, are publicly reported and result in reputational damage, loss of customer trust, and financial burdens like lost sales, fines, compensation, and increased insurance premiums.
Therefore, it is essential for restaurant owners and operators to choose a POS partner with strong security features and a proven record of compliance to protect against these risks. In fact, The 2023 Smart Guide™ to Restaurant Management and POS Systems revealed that 69% of over 300 surveyed restaurant IT decision-makers identified meeting security and payment compliance requirements as one of the biggest benefits of choosing the right POS system.
Key Considerations for a Secure POS Provider
It is crucial to note that not all POS systems offer the same level of protection. Although the prospect of upgrading to a more secure POS might initially seem expensive and challenging, in reality, it is a small price to pay to avoid the above-mentioned consequences of data lapses. So, what do you need to futureproof and safeguard your restaurant’s operations in an increasingly digital world? Read below.
Modern Architecture and Security Features
Choose a POS system with the right architectural foundation. A cloud-native POS is designed from the ground up with optimal security in mind, making it the superior choice compared to legacy systems with on-premises servers or partial cloud configurations. Modern cloud-based POS solutions offer robust security measures, including data encryption, proactive monitoring, and role-based access controls. In contrast, legacy systems often run on outdated, inflexible software architectures and lack the robust security tools needed to combat evolving vulnerabilities, making them easier targets for cyber-attacks, ransomware, and other issues.
Proven Certification and Compliance Track-Record
The increased focus on data privacy has also led to strict regulations like the Payment Card Industry Software Security Framework (PCI SSF), General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). Restaurants must select a POS that enables them to fully adhere to these rules as non-compliance can result in hefty penalties, reputational harm, and the inability to process card payments, leading to loss in revenues.
Legacy POS systems can impede compliance efforts significantly. They often lack the mandated modern data handling practices, struggle with timely updates and patches, and face resource limitations. In fact, this challenge persists even with cloud-based POS solutions, as many of them lack full PCI compliance. To address potential compliance gaps in these cases, especially when managing multiple vendors or disjointed technology, restaurants are forced to invest in middleware or extra technology. This incurs additional expenses and distracts from core business operations.
PAR Brink POS is the cloud-based solution that delivers on these considerations, providing customers with a reliable POS partner that takes a comprehensive approach to security:
- Brink POS uses powerful encryption to protect data during transmission and storage, ensuring safe exchanges between the POS system and other components. Unnecessary data is removed or anonymized daily, following industry standards.
- To stay ahead of security threats, Brink POS regularly updates its cloud infrastructure and proactively monitors for any unusual activities. It also allows brands to precisely define user roles and staff permissions and enforces multi-factor authentication, reducing the risk of unauthorized access and internal breaches.
- For system reliability and in-store continuity, Brink POS uses redundant servers to prevent failures, minimize downtime, and preserve data integrity. In the event of network disruptions, it seamlessly switches to offline mode, ensuring uninterrupted operations and secure data synchronization when reconnected.
- Brink POS is designed to meet evolving regulations and holds an industry-leading track record of compliance certifications. It was one of the first to achieve PCI SSF certification, a modern standard for payment software security that builds on PCI DSS. Paired with PAR Payment Solutions, Brink POS also simplifies and automates compliance certification processes for brands. Thus, restaurant operators can focus on running their business instead of worrying about complex paperwork, compliance gaps, or fines.