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Online fraud

Get a Step Ahead of Cybercriminals With an Updated Payment Infrastructure

Chris Allen

While all areas of a merchant operation are important, a business' network security and payment infrastructure are arguably the most critical to maintaining success today.

Consumers today are worried about the protection of their information - rightfully so given the recent high-profile data breaches at major retailers. According to data released by the Identify Theft Resource Center, close to 11 million records were exposed in the first half of 2014, with a majority of those breaches happening in the business sector (1). It's time for merchants to stay one step ahead of cybercriminals and beat them to the punch with modernized security measures.

How to outsmart cybercriminals
In today's digitally driven consumer landscape, online theft will continue to happen. Consumers today use their credit cards often and cyberthieves continually look for a way to capitalize on the exchange of data.

Merchants do need to consider the risk and investigate the proper network security. Cutting-edge payment processors and network security software can help safeguard against cyberattacks, but it's on small-business owners to use these tools to further combat against a potential breach.

More specifically, merchants can use the back-end data they get from a point-of-sale system to help mitigate potential attacks. While big data can help business owners forecast certain customer trends, it can also be leveraged to help predict where an attack might start in a network. Business owners can identify wider customer transaction trends based on certain demographics or location, for instance. In doing so, they will able to better spot any statistical anomalies that they encounter, such as a payment way larger than most customers make or from an area of the country that doesn't make sense.

In addition to leveraging back-end analytics provided by POS systems to help protect against cyberattacks, business owners must also educate employees on the potential dangers of a breach. Business and Technology website Think Progress suggested companies need to have a strong combination of IT technology, the right people and an efficient strategy to properly defend against a cyberattack. Since more employees today are using their own devices at work, companies need to be cognizant of any lapses in security caused by bring-your-own-device policies. 

Security needs to be at the forefront of business owners' minds in today's day and age. Merchants must determine if their current point of sale system and payment process provides the necessary security they need in order to help protect their customers information. Furthermore, local companies must educate their employees on BYOD policies and accessing important business information from insecure networks. With the right strategy and preparation, merchants can mitigate the risk of a data breaches. 

1. Identity Theft Resource Center, http://www.idtheftcenter.org/images/breach/ITRC_Breach_Report_2014.pdf (Dec. 23, 2014)

2. Think Progress, http://www.think-progress.com/nordic/en/tech-trends/cybercrime-cybercriminals/ (Sept. 22, 2014)


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