Entries tagged with “Payment Security”.
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Nov 22 2014
Posted by Sara Davis
Fraud can have disastrous consequences on a small business. Knowing how to identify your risk factors is a key element when it comes to preventing fraud within your enterprise. Because small businesses are more prone to spending less time and money on fraud prevention due to limited assets, the risk is vastly higher than those of huge corporations.
Due to technologies such as mobile devices that can span numerous operating systems, criminals now have even more ways to infiltrate in-house networks to steal your information.
Even though it may sound daunting, small businesses can administer safeguards and procedures that can maximize fraud detection. Consider the following low-cost strategies that can lessen the possibility of fraud for your small business.
-When hiring new employees, be thorough. Call all former employers and always conduct a background check. This can help you to single out potential candidates that may have a criminal background.
-Make sure to implement a standard code of conduct and share it with all of your employees. Make sure that they are aware of any repercussions for not following appropriate protocols.
-Keep close track of all of your bank statements. Be aware of how much is coming in and going out at all times. Being detail-oriented and watching out for inconsistencies is crucial when it comes to taking control of your finances.
-Use firewalls and anti-malware software. Protect your network by using unique passwords that have random upper and lower case letters and numbers.
Sadly, no business is free of the threat of fraudulent behavior. Being diligent when it comes to identifying your risk factors can greatly diminish the chance of being a victim. If you would like more information on fraud prevention, please contact us.
Nov 13 2014
Posted by Sara Davis
Data Breaches, Data Security
There have been a few famous cyber security breaches regarding financial data in the past year. Here is our next example of one that involved a financial security breach at a large department store.
Hackers broke into the credit card payment system of the department store early last year. The company’s security system apparently issued alerts sixty thousand times but even so, the hackers were able to move around inside the system for more than half a year, all while continually causing alerts every day they were there.
The problem, in this instance, was that the number of alerts that occurred in the system per day was so high that those that corresponded to the actual break-in were only a tiny percentage of the total according to employees at the company. According to some estimates, as many as three hundred and fifty thousand credit cards were exposed during the attack, and some nine thousand have been used by fraudsters since then.
According to some security experts, the main problem was that the point of sales network for the company had all of the registers connected to a central computer. Because of this centralized system, it was easy for hackers to continually add their software back onto registers every day.
The breach could have been prevented had the company more closely monitored the connections between the registers and the central computing system. Every section of the process has to be monitored and secured or a breach at any point could circumvent point of sale security, which is exactly what happened in this case.
For more information about keeping financial transactions secure against hackers, please contact us.
Nov 6 2014
Electronic payment processors and systems are great – they allow for increased versatility, quicker payment processing, and ubiquitous accessibility. However, keep in mind that each online payment processor is different! Consumer Reports suggests that you “…be aware of the disparity in loss liability and consumer protections they offer….”
Hidden fees are another aspect that you should be aware of when choosing a payment processor. Many times they won’t make you aware of the fees they charge and you end up finding out after the fact. Carefully study the fine print if you’re planning on using a new payment processor. You should double-check all stated transaction costs as well.
A recent article offers more guidelines you should follow in order to protect yourself from hidden fees from payment processors:
-Check the payment processor’s “about us” page for any additional information as to their policies.
-Read user reviews – if it’s too hard to wade through the fine print, then it’s definitely easier to read about users who have experienced being charged hidden fees. Often, these testimonials are written in plain language and get straight to the point concerning how the hidden fee was charged.
Since 1997, ProPay has provided simple, secure and affordable payment solutions for organizations ranging from the small, home-based entrepreneur to multi-billion-dollar enterprises. ProPay is a leading provider of complete end-to-end payment security solutions designed to significantly reduce the client organization’s risk of having sensitive payment data compromised. If you’d like more information, feel free to contact us today!
Nov 4 2014
The merchant credit card business can be highly aggressive. Some banks may use deceptive sales techniques in order to lure customers. Many businesses will sign on thinking that they found a great deal, then be shocked when they see hidden fees pop up.
Here are 3 ways to protect yourself from the hidden fees from payment processors that may be lurking in your current credit card agreement.
1. Annual fees are normally billed on the merchant statement at the end or beginning of the year, in December and January. They can range anywhere from $75 to $199 per account. This fee is often buried within the fine print on the merchant application. Steer clear of signing any application that includes this costly fee.
2. Cancellation fees are dependent upon whether or not a merchant decides to cancel an agreement early. They are then subject to cancellation fees that run anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars. Make sure there is no cancellation fee before agreeing to sign the merchant application.
3. Many processors may actually take out processing fees every day before depositing funds into your account. This can create accounting and bookkeeping nightmares. Merchants with multiple terminals and locations may find it difficult to settle terminal transactions with monthly merchant statements. The processor should only deposit the gross credit card and debit totals once a month.
By paying close attention to these concealed details, you can save yourself the headache of paying more than you should have to. If you would like more information on how to protect yourself from hidden payment processor fees, please contact us.
Nov 13 2012
Posted by hmark
Data Breaches, PCI DSS
Recent reports indicate that small businesses tend to overlook the threat of a data security breach. Controlscan, a company that specializes in assisting small and medium sized businesses with PCI compliance issues, recently completed a study in cooperation with Merchant Warehouse. The findings indicate that close to 80% of the surveyed merchants felt that they had little to no risk of a breach. What’s more, according to ControlScan’s CEO Joan Herbig, close to half of the merchants surveyed hadn’t even heard of the PCI DSS. These findings indicate a serious lack of communication between ISOs and Acquirers and their small merchants.
Since 2006, all organizations that store, process, or transmit cardholder data have been required to comply with the data security requirements contained within the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard. In fact, the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council has even created a microsite dedicated to educating small merchants on the PCI DSS and their obligations under that standard. The ramifications of non-compliance are many and can be overwhelming even for large merchants. Should a breach occur, the fines, fees, and penalties can quickly add up and in many cases have put companies out of business.
This post could easily take on an alarmist tone. Some might say that it already has. Regardless, though, small merchants must comply with the same set of standards to which large companies are beholden. How can one do that with comparatively limited resources? By trying to limit the places in the merchant system that store, process, and transmit cardholder data. Using a solution that processes payment card transactions using point to point encryption (P2PE) and tokenization can serve two objectives – making the data more secure, and reducing the burden of complying with the PCI DSS.
If you are a small merchant and you haven’t heard about PCI DSS or aren’t sure what you should do, reach out to your ISO or Acquirer. They can explain what the standard requires and how you can achieve compliance.