Secure Credit Card Processing: A Merchant’s Responsibility

Cybersecurity is an issue that affects everyone who uses the internet, but businesses that rely on it for credit card processing need to be particularly aware of  

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Secure Credit Card Processing: A Merchant's Responsibility

Jul 3, 2017

Secure Credit Card Processing: A Merchant’s Responsibility

Cybersecurity is an issue that affects everyone who uses the internet, but businesses that rely on it for credit card processing need to be particularly aware of steps they can take to keep themselves and their customers safe from fraud and identity theft. This is especially important since research shows that consumers have become increasingly aware of cyber threats and expect businesses to be proactive in the battle against attacks.

For example, an online shopping survey conducted by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and Zogby Analytics in 2016 reveals that 74 percent of consumers felt it was either "important" or "extremely important" that websites should clearly communicate how personal data is collected and shared. The survey also noted that 25 percent of consumers had abandoned a purchase because of privacy concerns.

A potentially important cybersecurity tool for merchants is the Small Biz Cyber Planner from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), a free online resource. It provides business owners with a list of basic questions about their companies and their online presence, including whether they use mobile devices or credit cards. Their answers are then used to create a customized cybersecurity plan.

Some of the best practices recommended for small businesses are:

  • Know what data needs to be protected.
  • Institute and enforce strong password policies.
  • Install anti-virus and other software security programs.
  • Protect email and web assets with solutions that mitigate spam threats.
  • Implement an effective back-up and response plan.
  • Encrypt account information.
  • Make sure WiFi routers are secure and password protected.
  • Adopt a reliable security solution through software or a third-part host.
  • Install all software updates as they become available.
  • Instruct employees on internet security guidelines.

The website also offers a Cybersecurity Tip Sheet that’s geared towards small businesses.

As a reputable merchant services provider, TSYS® takes cybersecurity very seriously, particularly as it applies to online credit card processing. We work with all our clients to make sure they attain and maintain PCI DSS compliance. We also offer a data breach security program that helps merchants meet the expenses resulting from a suspected or actual breach of payment card data.