How SMB Retailers Can Make Their Business More Secure
Every business that uses the internet is responsible of developing a culture of security that will enhance business and consumer confidence.
Accepting payments securely and keeping your POS information safe
With the past decade’s security breaches affecting millions customers, small and medium-sized businesses should seek to make their customers feel confident while shopping with them. With the right safety measures, retailers can minimize the chances of credit card fraud and maximize the integrity of the information they’re constantly gathering.
Safeguarding both payment processing and POS architecture can show customers that a business truly cares about their security. And a business can insure itself against potential losses in customer confidence and in the time and money involved in trying to recover from a major hit. Following best practices will give you and your employees peace of mind which can, in turn, improve customer interactions.
Here are some tips to help make your retail technology stronger and more secure.
Payment Security: Tokenization & Point-to-Point Encryption
There are two ways to safeguard your customers’ confidential information
The first is tokenization, a process by which sensitive data, in this case, a credit card number, is replaced with a unique string of characters called a token that is worthless to hackers.
It’s also worthless to the business accepting the credit card because the business will only be able to see a string of seemingly random characters. This is the ideal method through which small and medium-sized businesses should receive money because it places the bonus of liability on the company processing the payment. Thus, small and medium-sized businesses can operate without having to worry about being liable for the massive costs a data breach can incur. When equipping your POS software, be sure to choose a payment processing company that has a longstanding, solid reputation.
2. Point-to-Point Encryption
Point-to-point encryption, or P2PE, is very similar to tokenization. It works in much the same way but instead of occurring online, it occurs through a card reading device in most commonly a brick-and-mortar store.
When a customer uses his card, the device encrypts the information at once and then begins to send the encrypted string for processing. The retailer, just as with tokenization, cannot see the customer’s credit card number and instead sees a string of random characters. P2PE is a standard that is overseen by the PCI Security Standards Council and if fraud occurs then the P2PE solution provider is held accountable and not the merchant.
By assuring that your POS and your payment processing solutions are using these technologies, you will have done a major part in protecting your customers’ data. It is important to note that tokenization can be used for other purposes like safeguarding information other than just credit card numbers and it might even be required in places like Europe so make sure to research the laws and regulations in the place where you do business to avoid any legal problems.
Securing the POS software environment
What about security measures besides point of sale payment processing? It’s important for businesses to secure the entire POS environment. This can be done by creating a solid policy that employees are routinely encouraged to follow. Extremely strong passwords created by online password generators, two-factor authentication, SSL protected web connections, and limited remote access can all contribute to secure POS environment. By adopting these practices, a retailer can protect its inventory, sales & customer information. It’s also important to create a protocol for when there is a breach or when one possibly could have occurred. Mistakes happen so it’s nice to have a plan in place in case anything goes awry.
Retail Security Take Away
By taking POS security seriously from the very beginning, you will be creating a safe environment for your customers and instilling best practices into your employees so that they can create a culture of valuing security procedures. Knowledge about overall security and being able to assure customers that their information is safe can help employees close sales and respond to clients’ questions easily.
It can be frightening to see the massive costs associated with data breaches but it’s also comforting that as a retailer, there are foolproof precautions that you can take to keep your customers and business safe from fraud.
If you feel afflicted by of any of these reasons then it’s time to call CAM to request a demo.