Convoluted security protocols and difficult-to-use POS card processing software and hardware will ultimately lead to system breaches that put both your business and every one of your customers at risk.

For this reason, merchants must do three things when it comes to safeguarding against cyber attacks. First, get the notion that no one wants to target your small business out of your head. Hackers go where the money is, and that means your customers. If you handle credit card data, you’re a target – plain and simple.

Second, invest in card processing software solutions that have robust defenses and come with regular technical support so that updates can be made as new malware and other methods of cyber infiltration hit the Web.

And third, provide your employees with regular training on your POS system, how to use it securely, identify possible intrusions and report incidents properly. They can only do as much as you equip them to do. If your POS setup is complex and difficult to grasp, you’re the one who will ultimately suffer.

Merchants who find themselves in this type of situation should look to invest in new solutions that combine thorough security measures with ease of use so employees can understand and comply with the safeguards you put in place.

Ronald Raether recently wrote an article for BankInfoSecurity, outlining the reasons why small businesses often shoot themselves in the foot.

“Given the commonality of these and similar attacks, why would anyone spend the money on building a secure house only to give the keys away?” Raether asks. “But that is precisely what happens when companies fail to have the proper policies – as well as sufficient training, auditing and testing – in place.”