Major data breaches in recent years have created significant damages for retail companies. The 2013 Target data breach, for example, cost the company an estimated $1 billion dollars1. But large companies are not the only ones that need to be concerned; small-to-mid sized retailers (SMRs) are the victims of 80% of hacker attacks, according to the PCI Standards Security Council (PCI SSC). It is therefore important to know what risks SMRs face from potential hacks, and what can be done to avoid the issue in the first place!
The cost of a data breach for a small-to-mid size retailer
When SMRs suffer a breach, the penalties can be daunting as they have to take on the bulk of the associated costs. This includes reimbursement of cardholder losses; costs associated with the notification of affected consumers; and any case management fees and penalties from card brand networks, which can range anywhere from $5,000 to $500,000. The total cost can be enough to run some businesses into the ground.
To avoid that fate for your business, your POS security needs to be “airtight”. Whether your employees or your customers are on a tablet, a phone or a computer, every “connected” network and device poses a threat. However, with the right security, both your and your customer’s information will be safe.
Four key steps to protect your business:
- Process sales transactions with EMV-enabled technology, P2PE (Point-to-Point Encryption) and Tokenization. Instead of valuable credit card numbers and data being stored in your point of sale, an ‘encrypted’ or ‘tokenized’ number is stored, which is of no value to a potential hacker, taking your business out of PCI Scope.
- Keep hardware and software updated and patched to avoid vulnerabilities in the first place.
- Scan for application vulnerabilities continuously and proactively. Since threats can come anywhere, anytime, your security needs to be vigilant and adaptive.
- Leverage the security capabilities of third-party partners. A professional team of software experts can be prepared for even the most advanced hackers.
There are few data challenges as critical to SMRs as keeping credit card information secure, and your entire team needs to be kept up-to-date and focused on the issue. To learn more about data protection in an intuitive and shareable way, download our infographic, Payment Security for the SMR, and start protecting your retail business today.