Secure merchant services are a bigger deal for businesses today than ever before. Part of that is because of quite a few high profile data breaches in recent months that have consumers paying closer attention to security. Unfortunately, many small business owners fail to consider themselves attractive targets for thieves, which is absolutely false.
According to Inc.com, 50 percent of small businesses have experienced cyber-attacks. Of those that are victims of these types of attacks, more than 60 percent of businesses this size go out of business within six months of the breach. Data security for your small business is not just important, it’s crucial. That’s why you must choose merchant services that help protect your data and do your part to do so as well.
Not only can securing data prevent the type of nightmare scenario mentioned above for your business, but it can also help you establish trust with your customers that instills loyalty to your business for years, if not decades to come.
In other words, securing your data keeps your business strong today, and in the future, as you’re less likely to face the broken trust when the security of your customers has been compromised.
How Can Your Merchant Services Provider Help Secure Your Data?
Securing data in a world filled with hackers and viruses is no small feat. Even the big names in the business have had difficulty with breaches, including heavy hitters like Sony, Target, and even Equifax. This makes choosing a merchant service provider that takes data security seriously of tantamount importance. These are the types of things you can expect from secure merchant services you may not find with less secure options.
- Keeps up with compliance requirements and regulations
- Provides EMV readers
- Offers encryption
- Utilizes the latest, state of the art, security protocols, including tokenization
- Engages in advanced fraud detection practices
- Provides built-in protection in the point of sale (POS) systems offered
- Delivers online processing protection
- Offers training for you and your staff on all the tools and security protocols available
Choosing a merchant service provider that offers all these security features and more allows you to be confident that you’ve made a wise decision. Of course, this is only one step in the process of providing security and peace of mind to yourself, for your business, and to the customers and employees who trust you with their personal and/or financial information.
What Should You Do if You Suspect Your Data has been Compromised?
There are few things more terrifying to small businesses today than the idea you may have been the victim of a cyber-attack. Hopefully you’ve crossed all the “Ts” and dotted all the “Is” when it comes to securing the information you’ve been entrusted with so that even if a breach occurs, actual exposure is limited.
The other hope is that you’ve invested in cyber security insurance and that you’re working with an industry leader, when it comes to data security, for your payment processing and other merchant services needs. The Federal Trade Commission has provided a road map for responding to suspected data breaches that includes the following steps:
- Secure the physical area where the breach is likely to have occurred (if possible)
- Take affected equipment offline to limit the amount of additional data loss that occurs
- Remove information that has been improperly posted on the web
- Contact law enforcement (as soon as possible)
- Notify financial institutions of the breach
- Notify potential victims of the breach (including customers and employees)
Just as you want your customers to trust that you have their best interests at heart, BankCard Services wants you to trust that we have the best interests of your business in mind. That’s why we offer transparency in billing, fair rates, and expert training and guidance to all our customers with no long-term contracts. Contact us today to learn more about the services we offer and how we can help you keep your data secure.