New Year Means New, Safety-Focused Technologies for Businesses

With Rosh Hashanah behind us and a whole new year ahead, this is as good a time as ever to take a look at what businesses are going to be doing to improve the customer experience.

One of the biggest issues in retail today is the lack of security in the payment space. Since 2014, when Target reported its data breach, one of the largest ever at the time, the problem has only grown. As of August 31, 2018, there have been approximately 864 data breaches, with an estimated 34,174,633 records exposed.

Just this August, T-Mobile experienced a data breach that compromised personal information (although T-Mobile assured that no credit card numbers or social security numbers were exposed.) Another headline data breach occurred just earlier this month, with British Airways disclosing a cyberhack where roughly 380,000 card payers had data compromised (but not travel or passport details.)

Much of the stolen or compromised information finds its way to the dark web, where criminals buy it and use it for their own needs, leaving consumers in financial trouble.

In light of the many data breaches we have seen this past year in 5778, some companies have taken it upon themselves to develop new technologies that will help protect consumer payment information and keep it as safe as possible.

Here’s what three companies are doing to make 5779 a sweeter, safer year:

  1. National Retail Solutions (NRS) — a division of IDT
National Retail Solutions POS system installed in a grocery store

NRS created a unique point-of-sale (POS) system for convenience stores, liquor stores, bodegas etc. They provide an inventory management system, which helps merchants keep track of what customers want and don’t want, and stock stores accordingly so there is less waste and unpurchased inventory. They also have a rewards program and an app that allows owners and managers to login remotely to track and manage all sales and inventory. Just in time for the new year, NRS has launched NRS Pay, which enables NRS to become an MSP, a Merchant Services and Cash Advance Provider. The POS merchants can now process credit cards directly and more efficiently, receive money advances on future credit card transaction deposits, and offer faster funding as NRS is providing the Merchant Services in-house. Having more control over credit card processing through the POS terminal helps the merchant’s transactional side be more manageable and secure.

  1. General Motors

In the automobile domain, General Motors preemptively realized the dark side of increasingly computerized cars–more opportunities for malicious hackers to break in and take control of your vehicle. In light of these highly computerized cars, in August General Motors hired “white-hat hackers” to uncover bugs in their computer systems. The project, called Bug Bounty, consisted of ten hand-picked researchers and hackers to pick apart potential weaknesses, with the goal of identifying weak links, and then fixing them.

  1. CloudNexus

In terms of the cyber-threat protection companies themselves, CloudNexus, a Kentucky-based business that offers solutions to cybersecurity solution, on-premise support, voice over IP, and hyper convergence and cloud solutions, is adding employees specifically to combat cybersecurity threats. Small businesses are all too often a target for malicious hackers, and 60 percent of small businesses attacked end up folding within six months, making a safe workplace more important now than ever.

Making consumers as secure as possible should be a top priority right now, for every business, no matter how big or small. Companies cannot afford malicious hacks, and consumers cannot afford to have their confidential information compromised. Cybersecurity should be a number one priority for firms across all spaces–including but not limited to POS systems and automobiles. There are several precautions that companies can take to prevent security breaches–including hiring white hat hackers, having a strong employee offboarding policies in place, investing in cyber insurance, and more. Hopefully, 5779 will bring peace of mind, security, and safety.

About the Author
Formerly from Israel, now in Delaware, I have owned, run and worked with food, technology and politics, beginning with the MFA and several Knesset members.
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