High-profile computer breaches of major corporations are happening with such frequency that the latest hack has almost become old news.
A data breach can be devastating to your business — possibly leading to lawsuits, fines and plenty of negative publicity, as well as extra costs.
It’s not just the big merchants -- banks have experienced data breaches -- although big merchants seem to make the news more often. The reality is that small businesses are at risk, too.
Here are a few data breach security measures to consider:
Beef up passwords. Sometimes the only thing standing between secure data and stolen data is a strong password. Consider using hard-to-crack passwords — and change them often.
Limit data. Hackers can’t steal what you don’t have, so don’t collect information that you don’t need. For example, don’t hold Card Verification Value (CVV) and track data — even encrypted — on any logs or in storage. Likewise, reduce the number of places where you retain data, and securely purge it once the need for the data has passed. Grant access to sensitive data on an “as needed” basis and keep current records of which employees have access to data.
Maintain your systems. Software can be one of the primary ways that viruses and malware enter your data system. Your system may be vulnerable if you are using an operating system or application that is no longer being maintained and patched by the publisher. You’ll want to make sure your systems are always current with updates and security patches.
Follow the required standards. Compliance with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) means your business is helping to protect credit card information. To learn more about what you need to do to become PCI compliant, visit www.pcisecuritystandards.org.
Also, if it is determined that a merchant is not compliant with the applicable PCI data security requirements, they may be subject to substantial fines if their customers’ payment data is compromised, as well as have to pay any expenses and the cost of fraudulent transactions that may occur due to the security breach.
PNC Merchant Services® is committed to helping protect your business and your customers from data breaches. We provide a range of PCI-compliant credit card processing products. For more information, please call 1-888-235-6959.
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