Cards are one of the most common methods of making payments these days, as it’s simply more convenient than carrying a ton of cash on you at any given time. Still, if your business takes card payments, it puts you in a place of vulnerability. Considering how often payment cards are used for transactions, you need to take action now to keep your company from experiencing data breaches related to payment information.
How People Use Payment Cards
Some people don’t even keep cash on their person anymore, instead opting to use payment cards for their ease of use. About what percentage of your transactions do you use a card for? In particular, countries in the European Union have a lower percentage of cash usage compared to card usage, while less developed parts of the world rely on cash. In countries that have the technology to take advantage of payment cards, data privacy laws are much more specific and comprehensive.
Digital wallets may have seemed like the future, but they are far from a sustainable system, as retailers and other organizations aren’t guaranteed to take these types of payment. Therefore, the de facto payment method, unless you carry around a full wallet, is to use your card. Some businesses will try to incentivize card payments, while using cash in certain situations (think use of an automated teller machine) could cost consumers more in the long run for goods or services.
What Data Loss Means for Your Business
The more often consumers purchase goods or services with payment cards, the more likely it becomes that those credentials could be put at risk. With the number of hackers out in the wild, there is a considerable price on your business’ sensitive data--including card information. While it might be more common in e-commerce sites, you can never be too careful with how your business stores and protects sensitive payment card information.
If businesses fail to secure this data, the repercussions could be extreme. While it could mean a loss of consumer confidence, it could also lead to a series of smaller events that gradually erode your organization’s profitability. Either way, whether it’s a series of minor inconveniences or a major disruption, you’re still facing down a disaster.
Payment Card Index Digital Security Standard
Not all countries are as progressive with individual data security as the nations of the EU, but there are still measures that have been taken to standardize card information security. The Payment Card Index Digital Security Standard, or what is typically called PCI compliance, is the strategy payment card companies have come to. The requirements they expect every business that accepts payment cards to meet include:
- Monitor and test network.
- Maintain security network and systems to ensure customer privacy.
- Protect cardholder data.
- Maintain system that manages and reduces vulnerabilities.
- Maintain strong access control.
- Maintain information security policy.
These requirements might seem stringent and difficult to produce, but an easy way to make it happen is to work with Heart of Texas Network Consultants. We can help you maintain a secure network for all of your organization’s sensitive information, including card information. To learn more, reach out to us at (254) 848-7100.