eCommerce is a part of every business that accepts credit cards. Credit card transactions, even local swipes, likely rely upon your Internet connection or are susceptible to hacking via IoT exploits. Businesses that accept credit card payments typically require ongoing PCI Compliance auditing and should demonstrate an acceptable level of credit card security to protect themselves and their customer data.
When you are running credit card systems, it's important to stay both aware of the current cybersecurity risks and to do your best to defend against them, especially when it comes to customer payment and personal information. Not only could you lose customer trust and sales to a security breach, your business may also be exposed to lawsuits and costly fees. To protect both your customers and your business, make sure you know how to keep the hackers at bay.
5 Ways to Protect Your Credit Card Payment Information
Immediate Disk Encryption
Encryption is perhaps the best and most important defense we have when it comes to protecting information from hackers. While new programs and vulnerability exploits are always just around the corner, with encryption, even if your security is breached and data is stolen, the cybercriminals won't be able to read a single password or credit card number. This is why most merchants, eCommerce sites, and brick-and-mortar stores encrypt their databases and hard drives.
However, hackers are getting more clever and recently have begun leaving malware to 'skim' credit card numbers as they are entered or scanned. Make sure your processing system encrypts all personal information the moment it is typed to create maximum security for your customers.
Serious Firewalls and Virus Scanning
While we must accept that hacking is always a risk, you can significantly reduce that risk by having a robust network security system in place. Your network and servers need to be protected by a powerful and properly configured firewall that is also backed up by layered web and virus scanning to check for malware that may have slipped through the cracks. An important enhancement to your layered network security is network monitoring that can catch even the sneakiest malware by detecting unauthorized Internet web use and packet activity.
Reliable Payment Processor
It's a common misconception that using a payment processor can absolve you of responsibility for securing customer payment information. In reality, not every payment processor takes the kind of care you would hope to defend the information they handle for you. Make sure that you're working with a reliable payment processor with a good reputation and a rock-solid security infrastructure. Your payment processor should be able to produce SOC audit reports and resources to help you with your PCI Compliance.
Customer Service Training
No matter how good your firewalls are, your security system can only be as strong as your least trained employee. As long as there is someone who might share unauthorized information over a customer support line or click an attachment in an email without scanning it first, your business is at risk of a serious malware attack.
Not only should you train your employees to maintain security protocols and not fall for phishing hackers, you should also run them through drills so that the protocols stay fresh and your team remains on their toes.
Your Human Resources should be involved too by ensuring the employees you hire for roles with access to credit card information have a clean criminal background history. This can easily be performed by running background checks on new hires during the hiring process.
Finally, if you want to get as close as humanly possible to 100% secure payment information handling, look into PCI-DSS, which is short for Payment Card Industry - Data Security Standards.
While it may take a little time and some investment to achieve their high requirements, if you become PCI-compliant, you get a certificate that can be used to assure your clients and investors that their payment and personal information is absolutely safe. One of the first steps to PCI Compliance is to get a PCI audit and a GAP analysis.
Get PCI Compliance Auditing From Server@Work
Protecting your client's information is an essential part of your business, and at Server@Work, we want to help you achieve this level of protection for your business. Start by contacting us today to see how our team can help protect your credit card payment information.