Even companies that don't make day-to-day use of POS credit card processing systems should understand the necessity of secure protection for all related payment information. Corporations of any size that handle sensitive material are increasingly under threat of breach, a situation that could change the image of that business in the minds of consumers instantly. A company known as Morningstar has warned that a breach it suffered last April may have revealed credit card information, and sensitive customer data like passwords and addresses.

Though more than 2,000 patrons who make use of this research firm may have had this kind of information made vulnerable, Reuters reported that user with an email on the system (about 182,000 people) could also be at risk.

Apparently, the company has known about this breach for months and addressed the matter internally, but the specific mention of this in its Securities and Exchange Commission 8-K Report is an externally-facing acknowledgement of the seriousness posed by this situation.

While Morningstar described the amount of threatened accounts as "small," it also used the opportunity to declare its intent to prevent such instances and, as part of its response, offered a year of "free identity protection" to victimized parties.

"Earlier this year, we shut down the old servers and moved the data to a more secure infrastructure as part of a migration plan for MDR unrelated to this incident," the report says. "We have taken additional steps to prevent unauthorized access to our systems to protect client information."

This isn't to say that companies have reason to avoid card processing software, but those who do make use of it, whether in a traditional store or not, should be ready to appease customers in the case of such a breach.