Payment security is a significant source of anxiety for small-business owners.
Many do not have the resources to properly invest in best practices like secure servers, encryption and two-point authentication. Even so, many mistakenly assume their efforts for payment protection are enough to keep customer data safe. PYMNTS.com cited a Nationwide survey which found 46 percent of small-business owners feel the software they use is sufficient protection. Additionally, 40 percent do not think they are threatened by cybercrime, even though 63 percent had been the victim of an attack in the past.
In the past, small businesses relied on partnerships with a secure payment processing company to lessen the risk of payment theft. Recently, the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council added to this protection, creating informative resources that small businesses can use to truly understand payment security.
"Some of the most impactful changes a small business can make to protect themselves from a data breach are relatively simple steps, but often companies are not aware of how payment data flows from their business to their financial partners, or how they can improve the security of the cardholder data," said PCI SSC Chief Technology Officer Troy Leach in a press release.
The resources were designed for business owners with even minimal technological background to understand, using casual language and diagrams to explain things in simple terms. They detail the relationship between merchants, merchant vendors, payment processors and banks, so business owners can see how money is transferred electronically.
A quick summary of the resources
The resources are divided into four parts: a guide to payment safety, an explanation of common payment systems, questions small-business owners should ask current or prospective vendors, and a glossary of payment and data security terms. The first guide presents several statistics to help merchants understand how prevalent the threat of a data breach truly is. It also provides a brief overview of the various elements of payment processing and lists simple ways businesses can begin addressing security.
The common payment systems resource elaborates on information briefly touched upon before. It details various payment types and shows when and where hackers break into these systems. The questions resource helps small businesses select the right payment processing solution, while the glossary details key terms regarding the payment industry.
Even though these resources were designed for small-business owners, all merchants should use them to understand payment security.
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