Are You Secure? Data Security in the Age of Advanced Vulnerability

December 3, 2020
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Small Business Preventative Care – Data Breach Protection

Did you know that every business is at risk of experiencing a data breach? Regardless of size, any business can be targeted by cybercriminals, leading businesses without proper data security to fall victim to cyberattacks. Cybersecurity is a headline topic that is often highly publicized because it affects companies of all sizes and from all industries. Safeguarding data and ensuring both company and customer data security is of utmost importance for business owners because the cost can consume the business itself.

Cybercriminals aren’t always looking for the biggest score; they’re simply seeking the path of least resistance and hunting marks that are easy targets. The biggest mistake we see is that small & medium-sized businesses don’t believe they’re a target and don’t take proper precautions. These mistakes have led to lack of credibility among consumers. The fight to regain public trust requires the safeguarding of payment information in order to protect the consumer and the business.

“Small business owners should utilize data security analysis to reduce risk and liability, and partner with a payment processor that can ensure standardized protection and PCI compliance.”


Data Security – How it Works

Data security is a critical factor impacting both buyer behavior and long-term consumer trust. It reflects on the measures that a business takes to protect sensitive information, including the privacy of its customer data, and shielding data from corruption and malicious attacks by cybercriminals. The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), is a set of industry security standards designed to secure credit and debit card transactions against data theft and fraud. It is a requirement for any business that processes credit or debit card transactions.

What makes payment data sensitive to system vulnerabilities? Credit card data for a transaction passes through a payments processing chain in order to be processed. This processing chain includes consumers, merchants, acquirers/processors, credit card brands, and issuing banks. The processing chain also links many technologies – including communication lines, databases, and sophisticated applications. Data thieves are sophisticated in their technological knowledge, enabling them to exploit points of vulnerability in the payment processing chain.

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As cybercriminals become increasingly aware of vulnerability touchpoints, it is both the responsibility of the consumer and the business to ensure that trust is maintained. However, protecting the business is necessary, because many small businesses that experience a cyber-attack never recover.

Data security should be top of mind for all companies, but small businesses are more sensitive to the potential damage and significant financial cost of dealing with a data breach. In addition to the financial costs, there is also collateral damage, resulting in the loss of customer trust and negative reviews. Sensitive payment information is provided at point of sale, but the true value exchanged pays significant dividends is secured properly.


Data Breach Trends – No Business is Safe

Security within the payment processing chain is focused on credit card information and access to this information. Thieves have become adept at exploiting numerous vulnerabilities in the consumer-merchant acquirer payment processing chain to access this information. Fortunately, there are cost-effective solutions available to help secure sensitive data and reduce compliance costs.

“Many businesses fail to plan for a potential data breach, which can impact day-to-day operations, and the results can be financially devastating.”

Exactly how devastating? The Ponemon Institute’s 2020 Cost of a Data Breach Report found that the average cost of a data breach was $3.86 million, and healthcare is the most expensive industry to suffer a data breach. The report found that the average time to identify and contain a breach is 280 days.

The financial damage created by a data breach can wipe out the total value of a small business. Like many small business owners, you may wrongly assume your business is unlikely to experience a data breach. You need a partner that can help you reduce your risk and provide coaching to ensure the best data security protection.


Protecting Customer Data and Business Integrity

Cyber security plans don’t have to be elaborate or expensive, but they should be tailored to your business’s specific needs. Partnering with a payment processor that can utilize industry best practices is the simplest way to reduce your risk.

Following PCI-DSS compliance for the secure protection of data is central to a strategy for secure data solutions. Unfortunately, cybercriminals scope out vulnerabilities that can be exploited. Employing the latest encryption and data security technologies will help reduce the scope of threats and provide real-time insights for compliance.

Now that you know you have liability and risk, it’s important to protect the payment information in your possession to protect your business. The first step to take is to partner with a payment processor who understands small business security. Business owners are learning that payment processing companies can be differentiated by many factors, including reliability, price, customer service, and protection from security threats.

“As a successful merchant, you want to focus on serving your customers and expanding your business. You don’t want to lose sleep over concerns about data breaches and liabilities that can harm your business.”

To protect against credit card fraud, whether or not the card is present, merchants need a payment processing partner they can rely on. Designed to provide compliance and security, the PayTech Trust Gateway is built with a complete set of payment plans that deliver simplified data security, making PCI compliance cheaper and more manageable. Our payment environment is perfect for payment processing, including card-present point-of-sale, mobile payments, and e-commerce.

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PayTech Trust offers secure merchant accounts and web-based solutions for businesses of all sizes to use for online credit card processing. With our collaborative suite of services and best practices to detect credit card fraud, PayTech Trust has the experience and the expertise to help your business with expertly crafted merchant service solutions.

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