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secure credit card processing

All Security Systems are Not Created Equal: Set Your Secure Payment Processing Priorities

Ray Moorman

The best credit card security system is the one that’s designed with your business’s unique needs in mind, so you can pick and choose just the types of security services and features you need. Here we’ve identified three security system features that your company should implement to protect your payment processing: Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance, Secure Socket Layer (SSL) and fraud prevention.

PCI Compliance

No matter what volume of credit card transactions you process, you must achieve and maintain Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance. If not, you run the risk of facing hefty fines and losing the trust of your customers. Here are some ways that will help your business and systems be PCI compliant:

  • Check to make sure your systems are PCI certified
  • Check to make sure your payment processor is PCI certified
  • Use tokenization or encryption to protect sensitive data stored on your systems
  • Encrypt sensitive data that’s sent via email, FTP, data streams and phone lines
  • Restrict data access to a “need to know” basis for all employees
  • Check to make sure all business partners—including fulfillment houses, call center and marketing support—are all committed to protecting your customers’ data

 Be sure to visit the official PCI Security Standards Council website for detailed information on making sure your business is up to code.

SSL

Secure Socket Layer (SSL) is the standard security technology that establishes an encrypted link between a web server and a web browser. SSL ensures that all data that’s passed between the server and the browsers remain private and secure. If you sell goods or services online, SSL is a must-have. Even if you only sell in-store, an SSL can help protect your computers and systems from being hacked for valuable data.

Having this technology in place is important because any information that is transmitted between computers and the server—including credit card numbers, usernames, passwords and customer demographic information—can be nabbed by fraudsters if it’s not properly encrypted. You can typically purchase an SSL certificate from your web hosting provider for a flat annual fee.

Fraud prevention

There are a number of fairly straightforward fraud prevention measures that should be priorities in your fight against fraud. Having firewalls in place, using anti-virus and anti-malware software and employing tokenization are all fraud prevention measures that you should be taking.

Use strong firewalls that monitor all traffic coming into your network and block any suspicious or unauthorized attempts to send or receive personal data. Many Internet routers include basic firewall functionality built in, but we recommend boosting your protection with a software firewall for individual computers and devices on your network.

No matter what kind of computers you’re using—PC or Mac—you systems are vulnerable to attack. Work with your IT specialist to make sure you have the latest anti-virus and anti-malware protection in place. Tokenization is another way you can help secure your payment systems. Tokenization is when the sensitive credit card information that you collect at your POS terminal is turned into a randomly generated token, which is then passed through the network and only decoded when it reaches your payments processor. Even if a hacker intercepts the token, it will be useless and it can’t be used to run fraudulent transactions.

Secure payment processing is possible

Using the tips above as a starting point, set your secure payment processing priorities so your business and brand are protected from a data breach. Make sure you always have access to reliable technical support—be it an in-house IT resource or an independent cyber-security expert—on whom you can rely for continual monitoring and upgrading of your payment systems security. Seek the advice of your credit card processing provider in making sure your systems are as secure as they can possibly be.  

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