Credit Card Processing Blog
Do You Know The Right Questions To Ask About PCI & Data Security?

Aug 26, 2015 11:00 AM / by Reliance Star

If your business accepts credit cards or stores customer payment data of any kind, you need to be vigilant about data security.

When customers know that your business has experienced a data breach, they look for other places to shop. Additionally, data breaches often lead to fines and associated costs most small businesses are unable to afford.

Protecting your payment data and your customers’ sensitive personal information from data thieves starts with knowing the right questions to ask. If you’re not sure how to improve your data security, ask yourself and your payment processing provider the following questions.


Does My Business Meet PCI Compliance Standards?


PCI compliance requires meeting the data security standards set by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council. The standards vary depending on your business type and the number of credit card transactions you make each year. Becoming PCI compliant is a great way to take steps toward ensuring data security for your business. It also helps you avoid serious fines and other penalties that could cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars. Talk to your merchant services or payment processing provider about what your business must do to meet PCI compliance standards. 


Does My Payment Technology Help Increase Data Security?


To make sure you’re doing everything possible to protect your payment data security, you need to look at your payment technology. If you’re a brick-and-mortar merchant, you should have a modern POS terminal that is able to accept chip and pin credit cards. These cards contain a microprocessor chip that encrypts your customers’ payment information as it’s transmitted to your processing bank. Accepting these cards not only protects your payment data, but also protects your bottom line from the financial consequences of the EMV liability shift. 


Does My Business Have Enough Internet Security?


Your business needs high-level Internet security to keep your payment data secure. You should never store any sensitive data on an open wireless network. Also, make sure you have strong passwords for both your network and internal file systems. While a simple password is easy to remember, it’s also an easy code for hackers to break. Finally, you need to be extra cautious about whom you let access your internal network. Home Depot’s massive data breach occurred because one of its employees gave an outside vendor access to the wrong part of its network.


Am I Working With The Right Payment Processing Provider?


Some merchant services or credit card processing companies do nothing more than transmit your data to a processing bank and collect fees from you. These companies are never going to help you ensure payment data security. You need to work with a payment processing provider as dedicated to protecting your bottom line as you are. These proactive processors are available 24/7/365 to answer any questions you have about data security or payment processing. They also reach out regularly with helpful information like new data security threats and tips on credit card processing best practices.

Data security vigilance protects your reputation and profits. Use the questions above to help make sure you’re doing everything possible to protect your payment data.


Are you getting serious about your data security? Download our free guide on the steps your business needs to take to become more secure and achieve PCI compliance.

Topics: PCI