'Tis the Season for Gift Cards!

By Thomas Greenman | Oct 10, 2018 3:59:37 PM

The holidays are fast approaching, and your customers will be looking for gift cards to give to their family and friends – do you have enough to meet their demand? Typical turn around times takes around 2-4 weeks from time of order, but the closer it gets to the holidays, these lead times can double.

If you don’t take gift cards, keep reading below or click here to learn a few reasons on why you should!

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Thomas is Attending the Alaska CHARR Convention This Week

By Lynn Skurla Perkins | Sep 24, 2018 2:08:49 PM

Thomas is in Sitka, Alaska this week, attending the Annual CHARR Convention. (For those of you that aren't familiar with this organization, it is the Alaska Cabaret, Hotel, Restaurant and Retailers Association - a non-profit corporation, dedicated to serving the needs of the hospitality industry in the state of Alaska.)

Here is a preview of one of the featured speakers:

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NCR Counterpoint Secure Pay Moving to AWS - Action Required

By Lynn Skurla Perkins | Sep 14, 2018 10:43:29 AM

Message from NCR:

NCR Secure Pay will be moving our production service to AWS sometime in the next 30-45 days. The exact date has not been established, but we are sending out this information now regarding the new AWS IP address ranges. You should communicate with your merchants as soon as possible to ensure uninterrupted processing when the service is moved. We will communicate the move date as soon as it has been chosen with at least one week’s notice, possibly more.

 The IP addresses for our public DNS names will change, but the host names themselves will remain the same – ps.ncrsecurepay.com, ps1,ncrsecurepay.com, and ws.ncrsecurepay.com. AWS provides a pool of public IP addresses that may be assigned to our servers. The full list can be found below and should be used for firewall rules and whitelisting purposes where needed. The list may seem long, but we do not have control over the public IPs assigned by AWS. For those who would like more information on AWS’s public IPs, visit https://docs.aws.amazon.com/general/latest/gr/aws-ip-ranges.html. Initially, we will be only be using the us-east-1 region.

List of IP ranges below.

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Understanding Your Risk - Use Strong Passwords and Change Default Ones

By Lynn Skurla Perkins | Sep 12, 2018 1:10:46 PM

Over the next several months, we will be sharing the PCI Council's advice on How to Protect Your Business With These Security Basics.

This month's topic:  Use Strong Passwords and Change Default Ones

According to  the Council's Guide - About 80% of breaches involved guessed or stolen passwords!

Here is what they recommend:

CHANGE YOUR PASSWORDS REGULARLY. Treat your passwords like a toothbrush. Don’t let anyone else use them and get new ones every three months.

SEEK HELP. Ask your vendors or service providers about default passwords and how to change them. Then do it!

For more information on managing passwords, click here.

MAKE THEM HARD TO GUESS. The most common passwords are “password” and “123456.” Hackers try easily-guessed passwords because they’re used by half of all people. A strong password has seven or more characters and a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols (like !@#$&*). A phrase can also be a strong password (and may be easier to remember), like “B1gMac&frieS.”

To see how fast it takes to crack a password, click here.

DON’T SHARE. Insist on each employee having their own login IDs and passwords – never share!

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Alaskan Restaurant and Retail Technology Trends - September 2018

By Thomas Greenman | Aug 22, 2018 1:43:10 PM

Once a year, we travel to the Lower 48 to a conference called RetailNOW.  We meet with point of sale companies just like Skurla’s and with the nation's leading vendors.  It’s an amazing event that helps us find out what the future holds for the hospitality/retail industries, but it also provides us with a wealth of information on how we can better serve you. This year’s event was in Nashville and for us Alaskan’s, 90+ degree days are way too hot. But the knowledge we bring back makes it all worth while.

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Understanding Your Risk - Exploring the PCI Council's Small Merchant Guide

By Lynn Skurla Perkins | Aug 20, 2018 11:51:14 AM

“Small businesses are particularly at risk from the costs and opportunity loss associated with a data breach. Implementing the guidance published by the PCI SSC Small Merchant Taskforce will help a small business improve its data security practices and reduce the risk of data theft.“ - Michael Christodoulides, Barclaycard, PCI Small Merchant Taskforce Co-Chair

Security risks are everywhere these days - everyone up and down the chain is affected.  At Skurla's Point of Sale Solutions, we take security very seriously - and wanted to share some resources from the PCI Security Council.  

But first, here are some frightening data points shared by the PCI Security Council:   

  • 71% of hackers attack businesses with under 100 employees (Verizon 2012)
  • 60% of small businesses experienced a cyber breach (HM Government)
  • $20,752 is the average cost to small businesses due to hacking (NSBA)

If this scares you too, keep reading below to learn more about how to protect your business - 

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If You Haven't Converted to NCR SecurePay, NCR will Be Contacting you.

By Lynn Skurla Perkins | Jul 31, 2018 2:07:37 PM

Message we received from NCR:

This is a notification to inform you that we will be contacting all CPG merchants on Thursday, August 2nd with the following message regarding the CPG EOL Date. Please work with your merchants to ensure they're transitioned before the November 12th cut-off date. 

 "Our legacy product, Counterpoint Gateway, is going End of Life (EOL) on November 12th, 2018. Please work with your NCR business partner to ensure that you are migrated to our cutting-edge Gateway, NCR Secure Pay before November 12th . Failure to migrate off of Counterpoint Gateway prior to the deadline will put you at risk of losing credit card processing capabilities.

 We urge you to contact your NCR Counterpoint solution provider immediately to ensure your system is prepared for this transition. If you do not currently have a POS solution provider, or you are unsure who your provider is, please e-mail SalesOperations.Counterpoint@ncr.com

 Thank you for your continued support and investment in NCR and our partners.

 Best,

The NCR Counterpoint Team"

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Why You Need A Password Manager

By Thomas Greenman | Jul 19, 2018 7:40:13 AM

If you are like most folks, you have a handful of passwords that you reuse for all your online accounts. You may change a number or two when it’s expired, for example: Password1 gets changed to Password2, and so on. It’s very likely that some family and friends know some of your passwords too, like your WIFI and Netflix password. In a world full of hackers and breaches, you really are making their job all too easy.

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Updated Phone Tree

By Lynn Skurla Perkins | Jun 28, 2018 10:20:49 AM

You know the drill -  

Please listen carefully as our options have changed.

Call 907-243-2683 during our normal business hours, M-F 8-5 p.m. (Alaska Time)

  • For support, press 3
  • For the office, press 4

(You can also now dial your party’s extension at any time.)

For after hours:

  • If you need emergency MICROS support, please hang up and dial 855-412-2838.
  • If you need emergency support on all other systems, press 3 to be connected.  Or call 907-444-0559.
  • To leave a message for the office for a call back on the next business day, press 4.
  • If you need support for a call back on the next business day, press 5.
  • To repeat these options, press 0.

If you don't love phone trees, you can also fill out the form below, and we can contact you!

Please Contact Me!

 

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Good News! Update to the Global Thermal Paper Roll Shortage

By Lynn Skurla Perkins | Jun 28, 2018 9:16:29 AM

Update to the post earlier this month (see below).

Good news!  We will be receiving 11 pallets of paper on July 3rd!

Thank you for your understanding as we continue to work through this issue.  Next time you come by our office, you will probably see stacks of paper lining our hallways!  

Earlier this year, we shared information about the global thermal paper shortage. Up to this point, we haven't seen many changes in the industry that affected pricing or availability of paper rolls. However, that has now changed. 

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