Business owners have a responsibility of making sure that the personal and financial information they collect during merchant processing is safe and secure. Tech savvy thieves are constantly finding new ways to gain access to information online that your business has acquired making this a very real danger. Fortunately the weight of this threat does not fall solely on the business owners’ shoulders. Merchant processing providers are required to protect consumers from credit card fraud by following certain guidelines set by the Security Standards Council.
Secure Networks From the moment the information is collected to the storing of that information it is crucial that it remains secure from start to finish. While firewalls and encryption can help, businesses should not use defaults supplied by seller systems. The level of security they provide is less than perfect; however there are custom programs that can supplement the added security needed.
Data Protection Any data collected through a merchant credit card processor is required to be stored for a certain amount of time. The large amount of information stored during this short period can become a difficult problem, but every data center must have security in place to protect this information. Transfers can also present a problem. Data travels from the point of sale to the storage area. It is vital that merchants use encryption techniques to keep this information secure when transferring through the internet.
Strengthening Systems The level of defense required to keep this sensitive information safe from falling into the wrong hands requires certain effective steps. Any business processing this information requires an efficient antivirus program and must make sure it is maintained and updated regularly.
Information Access Strict guidelines must be enforced when accessing credit card information is involved. Having the wrong people in charge of processing this information can lead to fraud. Only authorized employees should have access to the storage area and should only gain access through unique identification for easy tracking.
Tracking and Maintenance Vital information collected by merchant credit card processing within data centers and businesses must track the people and events involved. If and when this information is needed for review, they must be able to easily produce the records for it. Testing the steps for accessing this information is also necessary, including the physical systems and preventative measures required to ensure the proper function of both.
Staying Up to Date Because technology is constantly changing, it is crucial for merchant processing companies to stay up to date with security issues and threats. This allows for the easy implementation of a solution if a threat to security comes along.
If you are a business owner interested in the services that a merchant credit card processor provides, make sure you select carefully. Ask about their methods for eliminating threats and staying up to date to provide the best protection and security.