By now you may have heard that on April 8, 2014, the popular Windows XP operating system (OS) will reach its end-of-life. This marks the end of technical assistance for the OS as well as automatic updates that secure and protect a user’s data.* What does this mean for the majority of US merchants using a POS system running on Windows XP? Essentially, it means a costly upgrade or risk losing PCI compliance by running an outdated OS ripe for hackers. After speaking with a few friends and restaurant owners, we present you with a few FAQs and guidance on how to make it through this industry-wide change.
Why should I care about this? My POS provider is constantly pushing updates and I’ve never had issues turning them down in the past.
A couple of reasons:
1. All merchants running credit cards through their POS or brick terminals are required to maintain PCI (Payment Card Industry) Compliant. They’re framework, the PCI Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), provides a guideline for maintaining security standards and protecting your customers’ credit card data from theft. PCI DSS Requirement 6.1 instructs merchants to: “Ensure that all system components and software are protected from known vulnerabilities by having the latest vendor-supplied security patches installed. Install critical security patches within one month of release.” Not abiding by these standards puts your business at risk for hefty fines and potential lawsuits in the event of a data breach.
2. Speaking of data security, I’m sure you remember the recent attack on Target’s POS system. Hackers used a malware program to access data from about 40 million credit and debit cards, not including the partial personal information they obtained from 70 million customers. An out-of-date OS would increase the risk for such an attack.
I’m not really familiar with PCI Compliance. How do I know if my system passes the test?
The PCI Security Standards council has put together a helpful Self Assessment Questionnaire to help you answer this question.
Not sure which Questionnaire is right for you? Here’s a quick flow chart to help you decide:
That’ a lot of information. How do I even know if my computers are running Windows XP?
To determine which version of Windows you’re using, first exit your point of sale application.
1. On the computer’s home screen, click Start.
2. Click Run, type winver, and press Enter.
3. An About window will pop up, indicating your current OS.
Crap, I’m running Windows XP! Now what?
You’ve got a few options.
1. You could skip the upgrade and hope for the best, but a good look at question one should have you disregarding this option.
2. You can contact your current POS provider and ask them about your upgrade options. Most likely they’ll upgrade your computer OS to Windows 7 or 8 for a charge, and depending on the age of your hardware you may need to to invest in new monitors and other equipment.
3. You can make the change to Breadcrumb iPad POS that runs on iOS, doesn’t charge you for software updates, and manages all PCI compliance so you can focus on serving customer satisfaction each and every shift. Breadcrumb is even running a contest for a free iPad Air, great way to get started!
Why should I choose iOS over a Windows upgrade?
So many reasons. iOS and Breadcrumb updates are always free to merchants, for one. Breadcrumb harnesses the power of the cloud, giving you access to your data anywhere at anytime. If you can manage your bank accounts online, keep up with your cell phone usage, and read an email as it hits your inbox, why shouldn’t you be able to view open checks at your restaurant and check your payroll to ensure costs are in line? Also, consider what your customers are using. According to a recent study by Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, 43% of smartphone users are on iOS. The percentage on Windows? 3.5%.
Breadcrumb was designed by a restaurant veteran to solve the headaches of dealing with constant costly upgrades and compliance audits, among others. No more tedious self-assessments or worries about costly software and hardware upgrades. April 8th is fast approaching, start budgeting for an upgrade now and schedule a demo with a Breadcrumb Specialist to see if a cloud-based system is right for you.
*Microsoft is ending regular support for Windows XP on April 8, but is offering extended support for Windows XP embedded systems, used for point-of-sale devices, through January 2016.
Breadcrumb spent another sold out weekend with Cochon555 at Union Market DC , eating more unbelievable dishes featuring heritage breed pork, serving up Bloody Marys and Smoky Manhattans, meeting some of the country’s best chefs and just overall having an awesome time!