Small businesses rely upon credit card processors to handle the bulk of their transactions. And with 80 percent of point of sale purchases conducted through credit cards, the need for an optimized system is vital.
However, with hackers and cybercriminals stepping up attacks against companies around the world, customer information can be stolen if the proper data security measures are not followed. If your business suffers a data breach and private information is accessed, you could lose the trust of your customers and be tarnished in the eyes of the public. That’s why small businesses need to ensure that all transactions made through mobile devices or credit cards should be completely secure.
Automatically update software
Because data is transferred via wireless Internet, you need to have the latest and most advanced software protection. The best protection is only as good as the most recent update. It may slip your mind to routinely update software, so it’s best to turn on the automatic update feature, which will work on its own to protect your customers’ data.
With an entire Web of viruses, spyware, malware and scams, your Internet firewalls could be the only thing standing in the way of a data breach. Updating outdated software and technology can become an expensive routine, but IT equipment leasing or financing can help defer some of the costs while still allowing for routine upgrades to remain current.
Don’t store unnecessary data
When making transactions through a card or touchscreen, the information is stored so that the processing goes through fully and the information is recorded. However, there should be a finite limit to what kind of data is stored. Credit card numbers, names and sometimes phone numbers can be stored online, other personalized data should not.
For instance, security codes and track information on the back of credit cards should not be stored because they link directly to specific cards and can provide hackers with the exact information they need to steal from your customers’ accounts. Keep in mind, the more data you store, the more you have to protect and the greater the chance of a hack.
Encryption is not required for security software, so many companies simply do not put much thought into it. However, without encryption you could be making it easier for cybercriminals to breach your servers. Not only does encryption add another layer of protection, but it makes it much more difficult and time-consuming for hackers to make any progress, leading some to give up.
Because your credit card processing system will be interacting with a host of outside sources, you’ll want to make sure it covers several different types of platforms including laptops, phones and store purchases.
Audit access to data
Sometimes credit card information needs to be more secure from people within your company. New hires or mischievous staff members may be inappropriately accessing private customer data. Because employees have certain passwords and login credentials, they have an easier path toward stealing card information.
Reevaluate who at your company has access to what to ensure data is not falling into the wrong hands.
Work laterally with vendors
With so many daily interactions with contractors, clients and wholesalers, the chance for a potential security flaw or lapse may be higher than you’re aware of. Incoming and outgoing transfers among accounts may be making your security system susceptible to hacks, which is why you should only be doing business with the most trusted and compliant vendors.
With top security measures in place, your business is one step ahead of other competitors. Plus, your customers will have the confidence that their transactions are secure and your business is trustworthy, which will go a long way in creating high customer satisfaction.
For more ways to achieve your business goals, consider a merchant cash advance from National Funding.