In light of the recent reports of the heist that saw a criminal group make off with millions of dollars in cash during a fraudulent ATM scam, users of credit card payment processors have reason to be anxious.

That event was massively orchestrated, and could leave store operators rightly wondering how to possibly remain safe against groups that organized. The best answer is that preparation must be taken to anticipate threats from both outside and in, and merchants can take those steps themselves.

BankInfoSecurity writer Tracy Kitten recently authored a blog post in which she quotes the senior vice president of information security firm Trustwave, Nick Percoco, as identifying the vulnerability that most users of point of sale card processors are seeing when it comes to payment data, a point he says is made worse through lax or outdated regulations. 

"Today we see malware that is much more advanced," Percoco said. "There is a population of merchants in the U.S. that still have point-of-sale systems that are ripe for these types of attacks. Right now, not all merchants are secure."

Although the article notes the great cost of money and resources it can take to update systems in order to protect against hacks, such efforts can be significant in preventing systems from being abused.

Kitten may believe that no progress will happen in this area without enforced change through legislation, but those managing stores may want to consider the benefits of pursuing upgrades on their own and thereby safeguarding their own credit card payment processing terminals from attacks in the future.