Credit card breaches happen all the time in today’s day and age. You need to do your best to keep your customers safe. By implementing PCI compliant hosting and an array of tips, you can protect your cash register systems from the various forms of malware and hackers that attempt to steal customer data.
Tip 1: Opt for PCI Compliant Hosting
Even if you have a payment gateway that is PCI compliant, you want to take it one step further with your PCI compliance. It will ensure that the best controls are in place so that customers are safe when they shop. You don’t want to run into a problem where customer information is hacked from your location as it will be difficult for people to trust you again.
When a host is PCI compliant, the environment is more secure. Checks occur regularly with regards to penetration testing, log and threat management, and more. It’s the extra layer of protection that you need to have in place.
Tip 2: Install a Firewall
A firewall should be installed as a way of monitoring all of the external connections. This can be done with hardware, software, or a combination of the two. Computers are often a week link that will result in a data breach. When you can strengthen the level of data protection, it will be better for you as well as your customers.
Tip 3: Change Passwords
You should get in the habit of changing account passwords on a regular basis. This is a best practice for everyone, regardless of what kind of business you have. Your account passwords, along with secret questions and answers, should be changed approximately every 45 to 60 days. This is a great safeguard to have in place so that you don’t have to worry about someone else being able to access an account.
It’s a good idea to set a reminder on your phone or in your computer so that you have an automatic reminder to go ahead and change passwords. Your password should also be relatively complicated, including a combination of numbers, letters, and symbols.
Tip 4: Don’t Request Information via Insecure Methods
Regardless of what kind of business you have in place, it is highly recommended that you do not request any kind of confidential information using insecure methods. Even though it might be easier to get the information that you need, you should never ask for information by email or in an online chat session. It’s important that you also take the time to train all of your employees on what methods are secure versus insecure. All it takes is one person to request customer information using insecure method to create a data breach for the entire company.
Tip 5: Store Sensitive Information Separately
You need to store sensitive and confidential information, such as credit card numbers or Social Security numbers, away from Web servers using an encrypted database. You want to make sure that this is not connected to the Internet so that there is no way for a hacker to get into the Web server and collect this information.
Many data merchants will ensure that you don’t collect any of the sensitive payment data on your own system, thus reducing the risk for credit card data breaches even further.
Tip 6: Validate All Information
Another best practice you should put into place is to validate all order information for every order before you ship. This will allow you to verify the full address of the person, the phone number, and everything else. The benefit to doing this is to ensure that the information is correct and that matches previous information. Otherwise, it can lead to problems with the security standards that you have in place.
Data breach protection is going to be the best line of defense that you have against fraud. It should be your top priority – and there are payment solutions providers that can come in and test your system to let you know what threats you are at risk against. It will help you to tighten your system and avoid issues in the future.
When you have a higher level of data protection in place, it will also give your customers another reason to trust you. It will provide them peace of mind knowing that you have done everything you can to protect their information.
These tips should help you keep your customers safe from credit card breaches. Remember, trust takes years to build and seconds to break, so you can never be too safe.