Is Your Small Business’ Payment Card Security Really Secure?

Between mid-May and July, Equifax, one of the three credit reporting agencies in the U.S., announced that it had been compromised. Up to 143 million American’s personal information, social security numbers and credit card numbers had potentially been exposed. Once again, reminding us all that security breaches are here to stay.

For small businesses, protecting against data breaches is a very real, daily concern. If you accept credit cards for payment by customers, a breach is a possibility. To protect your business and your customers, it is critical that you take steps towards greater security.

Show that Trust Matters to You

The first step is to show your customers that payment security matters to you. According to a Verizon report, 66 percent of customers shared they would be unlikely to do business with an organization that had experienced a data breach. Their main concern was having financial and personal information exposed, understandably so. According to Gemalto, 1,792 incidents were recorded throughout the world in 2016, which led to the compromise of 1.4 billion data records(86% higher than in 2015).

Understand Federal Law

Unfortunately, data breaches go beyond the loss of trust, impacted business revenuesand costs. Your business must also make sure that – in the event of a breach – you are aware of all legal notice requirements to avoid severe governmental penalties. The National Conference on State Legislatives has a state-by-state list you can access detailing all security breach notification laws. You should know that, while there is not a federal law addressing required notification by merchants at the moment, there is a law pending.

Know Compliance Protocols

As a merchant, there are twelve key protocols (these are standards created by the PCI Security Standards Council) you must know. The PCI DSS requirements are as follows:

  1. Install and maintain a firewall configuration to protect cardholder data
  2. Do not use vendor-supplied defaults for system passwords and other security parameters
  3. Protect stored cardholder data
  4. Encrypt transmission of cardholder data across open, public networks
  5. Protect all systems against malware and regularly update anti-virus software or programs
  6. Develop and maintain secure systems and applications
  7. Restrict access to cardholder data by business need to know
  8. Identify and authenticate access to system components
  9. Restrict physical access to cardholder data
  10. Track and monitor all access to network resources and cardholder data
  11. Regularly test security system and processes
  12. Maintain a policy that addresses information security for all personnel

Have you already suffered from a data breach? The results can be devastating. If your credit has suffered, you will be glad to hear that you have options at your disposal. For example, consider the advantageous of a bad credit merchant account from an alternative provider like First American Merchant (FAM). Regardless of an unfortunate breach, you can still secure the safe payment processing you need for your business – and prevent breaches injuring your business and customers in the future.

Business Funding expert, Nathan Hale, founded First American Merchant with his eyes set on helping the backbone of our country, small business owners. His passions include writing/producing music, and travel. First American Merchant is America’s Best bad credit merchant account company, serving both traditional and high-risk Businesses.

 

Comments are closed.

  • Partner links