CYBERSECURITY

Safeguarding an information technology (IT) infrastructure, which includes both the hardware and software, is paramount to protecting the entire information ecosystem. One reason for heightened cybersecurity is that cyber-attacks have increasingly become more sophisticated, more targeted, and more frequent.
As such, the imminence of the threat landscape requires a more proactive approach to securing the infrastructure instead of a more reactive one.

Cybersecurity noun

the state of being protected against the criminal or unauthorized use of electronic data, or the measures taken to achieve this

What exactly is cybersecurity?


Cisco defines cybersecurity as the convergence of people and processes with a body of technologies and practices and protocols, connecting both entities. They come together in protecting individuals, organizations, and networks against digital attacks. 


Essentially, cybersecurity pertains to various practices that aim to defend computers, servers, data, electronic systems, networks, and devices against malicious attacks. The most common form of an attack is unauthorized access to data, often sensitive and confidential, and systems, exposing the vulnerabilities and limitations of an IT infrastructure.

What is the purpose of cybersecurity?

Robust cybersecurity purports to secure against cyberattacks since these are designed to access, destroy, and alter data and systems. With cybersecurity, attacks that effectively disrupt or disable the entire infrastructure operations are prevented.

The importance of cybersecurity lies in its proactive protection against attacks, considering how the ever-sophisticating attackers and techniques compound the problem on hand. 

Nonetheless, for protection to be efficient, coordination among different sections of the cybersecurity program is necessary. The program cannot focus on protecting the infrastructure against known threats without considering the emergence of little unknown threats when they can ruin the structures in the same manner and extent. 

Therefore, a cybersecurity program should take a more holistic ~ proactive and adaptive ~ approach by protecting not just the systems or the data per se but everything the infrastructure touches.

 

These are:

  • Application 

  • Data

  • Network

  • Operational

  • Cloud

  • Infrastructure

  • Physical

  • Disaster recovery

  • End-user education

Benefits of cybersecurity

A risk assessment framework embodied in cybersecurity programs defends the infrastructure against known and unknown cyber threats and attacks. 

Speaking of which, an exhaustive list of different types of cybersecurity threats exist such as:

  • Malware 

  • Ransomware 

  • Phishing

  • Botnets

  • DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks

  • APTs (advanced persistent threats)

  • XSS (cross-site scripting)

  • Drive-by download attacks 

  • Exploit kits

  • BECs (business email compromises)

There are also human-directed attacks such as social engineering, insider threats, and MitM (man in the middle) attacks.

The majority of these cyber threats use encryption or simply the process of interjecting codes or commands that steal data. Most commonly, these are login credentials to manipulate the systems as well as credit card information.

Implementing a program benefits an entity through:

  1. Business protection against data breaches 

  2. End-user and endpoint devices protection

  3. Prevention against unauthorized access 

  4. Improved recovery after a data or system breach

  5. Business continuity

  6. Improved confidence

  7. Regulatory compliance

When security tools are in place, it would be easier for the entire program to classify attacks, especially malware and ransomware, and analyze traffic and compliance.

Key cybersecurity challenges today

Cyber attacks that come in volumes are not expected to diminish now and in the near future. Quite the contrary, the entry points for attacks are increasing due to the Internet of Things (IoT). This warrants the necessity of securing networks further. 

However, cybersecurity is not without its challenges. Security risks continue to evolve. On the one hand, new technologies are emerging, and the older ones are advancing. The utilization of such technologies is also changing. On the other hand, attackers develop new attack avenues and platforms.

These frequent attack-related changes render some security tools less effective or ultimately futile. Updating security tools, processes, and practices to protect against cyber threats is definitely a challenge. Not all organizations have the resources to guard up against these evolving attacks.

Furthermore, the digitalization of everyday activities is highly encouraged nowadays. That’s why more and more organizations are gathering extensive personally identifiable information (PII) and data from the users. 

Unfortunately, the buying and selling of PII is a lucrative business nowadays. It is a $200 billion industry with data brokerage companies at the front and center.

Protecting against cyber attacks

When artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are prioritized, automation is considered one of the solutions against cyber threats and attacks.

Automation is a fundamental component in protecting the IT ecosystem, especially for companies engaged in high-volume data streams. It helps improving security in terms of:

  1. Threat detection. Data is analyzed, allowing the system to recognize any known threats while determining or predicting the presence of novel threats.

  2. Threat response. Security protections are activated and enacted automatically once a threat is detected.

  3. Process augmentation. Low-risks are triaged, eliminating alert fatigue in the process.

Protecting payment kiosks against cyber threats and attacks

When planning a payment kiosk deployment, cybersecurity is critical, especially when these machines collect PII.

A Breach Level Index report claims that about 5 million data records are stolen or lost globally within 24 hours. That’s about 58 records every second. On average, a breach costs $7.9 million.

Protecting systems, customer databases, and transactions when using self-service kiosks cannot be emphasized enough. The end-users trust the establishments deploying these kiosks that their transactions are handled safely and securely without any compromises. A data breach is also a trust breach in this sense.

Ensuring security in using self-service kiosks is never an option—but a requirement.

  • Implement cybersecurity best practices

When it comes to kiosks, standardization is vital in manufacturing a machine and developing an application with security features at the core. Updates and maintenance of both the hardware and software are key in ensuring that the payment system performs optimally.

  • Ensure proper systems configurations

A clean and proper configuration ensures that no other processes penetrate the system other than those directly tied to kiosks transactions. The transactions are pre-loaded, which can mitigate any entry points for unauthorized or unrelated transactions.

  • Master endpoint security

Before the consumers use kiosks and machines, there should be layers of controls such as a whitelist of hardware components, firewall inspection, active threat prevention, intrusion prevention, and full encryption.

  • Conduct objective and ongoing review

A third-party reviewer can also assess and disclose the potential weaknesses of the infrastructure. It can also conduct proper documentation of the evaluation processes.

Integrating security features into the kiosk system drives consumer confidence and ensures standard compliance. Again, encryption is essential to self-service kiosks deployment as a key mitigating factor for data breaches.

How eTap ensures cybersecurity of its kiosks

We, at eTAP, understand that security solutions must evolve along with the evolution in self-service technologies. Our development team has a full grasp of how dynamic the security issues and breach risks are.

Building highly secured payment systems that can be easily integrated into new or existing programs through API can be time-sensitive and costly. eTAP has the necessary resources to tackle this enormous task. 

Our team of experts, who possess security proficiencies, can invest time and energy in developing a more advanced payment solution that protects the entire kiosk deployment from potential security threats and cyber-attacks.

Our turnkey payment security solutions are end to end and fully vetted. Our in-house software engineers prioritize integrating security tools and features to make the payment experience well-protected from the group up.

This is important for us and the self-service industry. The threat of malware that collects names, email addresses, other PII, and even biometrics is an ongoing security issue. We strive to continually assess and modify security protocols and procedures and implement end-to-end security changes while also expediting implementation to prevent cyber-attacks.

 

Learn more about how eTAP ensures the cybersecurity of its payment kiosks and machines. Get in touch with us!