5 Critical ATM Security Tips

Author Justin Gilmore

Whenever you own or manage an ATM machine, your number one priority should always be security — both for your customers and for the machine itself. Running your own ATM business can be a great source of revenue, but ATMs are also hot targets for thieves and hackers. Not only will thieves want to break into your machines and steal cash, but “skimmers” will try to find ways to steal your customers’ credit/debit card information. The good news is that most of these dangers can be minimized with some common-sense safeguards in place. Let’s discuss five critical ATM security tips to help you protect both your machines and the customers who use them.

1. Keep ATMs in open, monitored areas.

ATM thieves don’t like to be observed, so visibility is one of your best weapons against theft. Avoid placing ATMs in dark, unwatched corners. Instead, place them in well-lit, open areas that are easy to monitor — and make sure the lights stay on after hours if your machines have 24-hour access. Whenever possible, place the machines under video surveillance, and make sure the cameras are in plain view, as well. Not only will these measures deter the bad guys — they’ll also make your customers feel safer.

2. Use reinforced cabinets and frameworks.

Smaller, mobile machines are often vulnerable to “brute force theft,” in which thieves will physically try to break into the machines or remove them using chains. Many ATM units now use reinforced casing and reinforced safes to make them more difficult to break into. For higher crime areas, you can also place ATMs in reinforced cages under lock and key to protect them.

3. Prioritize online security.

Nowadays, cybersecurity is just as important for ATM machines as physical security. To minimize the risk of hacking, always make sure your ATMs are transmitting on a secure, encrypted network behind a robust firewall. Additionally, keep your software regularly updated to safeguard against new viruses and malware that are constantly being developed.

4. Implement anti-skimming technologies.

“Skimming” occurs when thieves place a small device on the ATM to “skim” users’ credit or debit card info when they use the machine, which the thief can then use to make fraudulent purchases. Quite often, these devices are placed over the card swipe reader and may include a key pad which fits over your machine’s keypad to capture PIN numbers. Fortunately, there are many products on the market that can deter or disable these devices — for example:

  • Detection systems that alert you and/or disable the machine when skimming devices are detected;
  • Jitter technology, which uses a stop/start mechanism when cards are inserted to corrupt the skimmer’s data; and
  • Jamming technologies designed to interrupt skimmer transmissions.

If your machine doesn’t come equipped with anti-skimming mechanisms, consider investing in one or more of these safeguards to protect customer information and protect you from possible liability issues.

5. Invest in ATM machines with enhanced security features.

These days, ATM manufacturers are taking extra steps to make sure their machines are equipped with added security features, which include things like reflective screens, firewall protection, SSL transmission, EMV card readers and more. It’s definitely worth the few extra dollars to invest in machines that reduce the risk of theft, as well as giving both you and your customers greater peace of mind.

AtmMachines.com, LLC sells several lines of ATM machines equipped with state-of-the-art security features and the latest technologies. For more information, give us a call at 1-866-295-2329.