Cisco recently published its mid-year security report for 2014, and it is becoming increasingly apparent that companies are more vulnerable than ever to cyber attacks that have the potential to cripple company credibility and security. Tech Times reports that this year the average financial hit incurred as the result of a security violation was $5.4 million, up from the $4.5 million reported last year. 

Online news source ZDNet posits that the increase in point of sale systems violations may be due to the fact that more systems now include an integrated use of the internet, which provides an attractive vulnerability for hackers to target. Indeed, Financial Post reports that almost 95 percent of the 16 global networks surveyed by Cisco trafficked unknowingly with sites containing several forms of high-threat malware. Cisco identifies these types of vulnerabilities as "weak links" that threaten the basic integrity of a company's infrastructure. The report states that "the decision to view security as a business process often stems out of broader business initiatives designed to improve governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) throughout the organization. Many businesses find, often too late, that when it comes to IT security, being compliant is not enough." 

This latest  report confirms the fact that companies can no longer afford to employ merely reactive IT defense strategies, but must aggressively pursue a secure method for credit card processing in order to retain customer loyalty and trust. Credit card security breaches have been seemingly ever-present in the news this past year — just think of the Target and PF Chang's debacles — and such negative press may prove difficult to overcome in the future. It is therefore becoming increasingly important for companies to fortify POS systems against a constantly evolving array of technological threats in order to lower risk of violation and increase customer trust.