Cybercriminals increasingly target point of sales systems
The data breach landscape could look very different in the future with the increased adoption of chip-enabled payment cards in North America—but for now point-of-sale systems account for the majority of breaches there, compared to a tiny minority in other regions of the world.
Hacked point-of-sale (PoS) terminals were responsible for 65 percent of the data compromises investigated by security firm Trustwave last year in North America, compared to only 10 percent in Europe, Middle East and Africa and 11 percent in the Asia and Pacific region. Worldwide, the company investigated 574 breaches, half of them in the U.S.
The difference between PoS breach numbers in North America and other regions is largely due to a payment card standard called EMV (Europay, MasterCard, and Visa), which mandates the use of electronic chips in cards for antifraud protection. These are also called Chip-and-PIN or Chip-and-Signature cards and they have only recently started to be introduced in the U.S. and Canada.