Payments security doesn’t have to be spooky

Werewolves howl into the night and zombies amble down the street, but one thing you don’t have to fear during Halloween season is payments security.

The risk of a data breach is scarier than most things that go bump in the night, leading to an estimated $6 trillion in damages by 2021. That level of potential damage is spookier than any horror movie.

But you don’t have to cower under the covers in fear of cybercriminals threatening your business’ sensitive payment data. The right payment processing partner will have security measures in place to protect data and prevent breaches.

Hackers continue to grow more sophisticated as technology provides them with more tools to gain illegal access to credit card information. So security technology is constantly evolving to keep pace by offering comprehensive protection for your business’ most sensitive data.

Here are four security features you should expect from a payment processor to prevent cybercriminals from lurking in nearby shadows this Halloween season — and year round.

#1: EMV technology

Newer credit and debit cards come embedded with a small EMV chip that offers up big protection. The chip creates a unique transaction code for every individual purchase, regardless of price.

Whereas older magnetic-stripe cards held static data that could easily be cloned or duplicated, the constantly changing data held within chip cards makes them significantly harder to use for fraudulent purposes.

EMV technology is still relatively new in the United States, and not all businesses have upgraded to EMV-enabled payment terminals yet. However, making the switch offers valuable protection to customers and your business as a whole.

#2: End-to-end encryption

This sophisticated type of encryption adds another layer of protection that goes beyond standard encryption. E2E encryption requires unique keys at both ends of a piece of data’s journey in order for it to be decrypted.

This second key at the data’s destination is what makes this level of encryption superior. In fact, it’s theoretically impossible for anyone other than the intended recipient to view the data in decrypted form. This effectively hides sensitive data from the eyes of those who aren’t meant to see it.

#3: Tokenization

This process replaces credit card numbers with a randomly-generated alphanumeric code, referred to as a token. The token has no connection to the cardholder or associated bank account. 

What does this mean? Even if a cybercriminal somehow manages to get a hold of tokenized card data, it will make no sense and cannot be used for fraudulent purposes.

Tokenization is an ideal tool for any business that stores customers’ credit card information for automated recurring payments or subscription-based services/memberships.

#4: PCI Data Security Standard

The Payment Card Industry, or PCI, created and maintains a list of general practices designed to protect cardholder information. Every business that accepts card payments must become PCI-compliant.

The right payment processor will incorporate PCI practices into their software and solutions to ease the compliance burden. Some processors offer resources to assist businesses with achieving compliance, which is imperative for secure transactions. 

Erase fear with cybersecurity

Data breaches don’t have to scare you or your customers when the proper security protocols are in place. Talk to your payment processor about the security features being used to protect your business’ sensitive data.

With strong payments security, you can rest at ease. The only things you need to fear are spooky Halloween shenanigans, bone-chilling movies, and maybe a tummy ache from eating too much candy.

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