Published On: Tue, Jul 26th, 2016

How Can You Improve Credit Card And Data Security?

For the modern business it is really important that credit cards can be accepted and all credit data has to be secured. There are many data breaches that can happen and something like this can drastically hurt any company. According to information from John Ahlf, around 50% of all the data breaches that took place last year happened in the business sector. That is why it is so important that credit card and data security are well taken care of. Just a single attack can lead to a company being bankrupted. It is definitely something that you do not want to be faced with.

Protecting Customers And Companies

The companies that facilitate credit card use can store some data. This does include card expiration date, ZIP code, address and name. However, sensitive authentication data storage is not permitted by law. It is really important that the system set up does not memorize PIN numbers or such authentication details. If such sensitive data absolutely has to be stored, the PCI DSS standards have to be used. This is true for every single merchant that transmits, stores or processes cardholder data.

The Security Standard

Individual card brands will always require large merchants and various service providers to go through an assessment that has to be conducted by the PCI Security Standards Council. That is done in order to demonstrate compliance. The problem is that this forced compliance check only happens for the really large companies. When looking at the smaller brands it is their responsibility to be sure that all will be handled properly and that credit data is kept safe.

Control Objectives To Remember

Always focus on the following to be sure that credit card data is kept secure:

  • Maintaining A Secured Network

A company needs to install and then maintain a network that is as secured as possible. This includes the addition of firewalls but so many other steps are necessary. Always be sure that the system is checked as often as possible to identify possible vulnerabilities.

  • Protecting Cardholder Data

PCI DSS compliance will not guarantee that a security breach will not happen. It is very important that all the sensitive data remains safe even if breaches happen. Authentication data should never be stored as soon as an authorized transaction goes through. Then, magnetic stripe content has to be eliminated from the system since it could help people create fake credit cards.

  • Access Control Measures

Restricting cardholder data access and making sure that only the intended person has access is a necessity. This is true for all systems that handle transactions, storing and processing.

  • Regular Testing

Network resource access and card data access needs to be tracked, preferably with the use of unique IDs. Processes have to be regularly tested in order to be sure that they are not vulnerable. At least quarterly tests are needed.

  • Information Security Policy Maintenance

Every single business entity needs to maintain and develop credit data breach response plans. It is always needed to know what to do in the event a security breach happens.