Data security is a primary concern for businesses in every industry. No matter the size of the business, becoming a target for a cybercriminal is a very real and prevalent threat in this modern, technology-driven age.
So, if a payment provider doesn’t immediately address the issue of security during payment transactions, you should definitely be asking yourself, “Why?”
That’s especially true when you consider the statistics.
According to the Breach Level Index, an average of 5 million records are stolen every day. One of the most recent breaches, reported September 2, 2017, resulted in the loss of over 1 million records related to account access and was caused by a malicious outsider. This is just one of two major incidents in September alone, and one of more than a thousand currently reported in 2017.
While internal business security protects a variety of customer data, transmission of payment information to a payment provider introduces an outside element. Encryption and security protocols on the side of the payment provider are just as essential—if not more so—than internal business security due to the inherent value of payment-related data and the fact that networks allowing transmission of payment information can create an “in” for cybercriminals to exploit.
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Your payment provider should be talking about security because it’s important to your business for the following reasons:
Customers frequent businesses they know they can trust. Once a breach occurs and customer information is stolen, consumers can’t help but feel that their trust has been violated, particularly for those businesses devoted to developing long-term relationships. If consumers can’t trust your business to keep their information safe, they’re more likely to go elsewhere.
While one might think liability should be fairly obvious, it’s not always that simple. Payment providers do share in liability, but should the circumstances play out in such a way that exact liability is unclear, your business could still be found at fault for a critical breach of information. If that happens, the cost could be enough to derail future growth plans or upset the business altogether. More than one business has gone under due to a breach issue. Payment providers without sufficient security measures in place could be exposing your business to creative hackers who can use information channels and networks to infiltrate and steal private data.
Payment providers who know their business understand the risks better than anyone. Dealing in sensitive payment information means managing federal regulations and navigating the challenges related to preventing access to those who would use that information illegally. If your payment provider hasn’t addressed security and explained the protection in place for keeping your business and your customers’ information safe, then maybe it’s time to consider other options.
Payment providers who don’t place network and data security at the top of their list of selling points should be considered suspect. While asking questions about security may be one approach, the fact is that payment systems providers know the importance of sufficient security protocols—and if they don’t bring it up, you might have reason to worry.
Know your priorities, and make sure you understand theirs. In the end, the success and longevity of your business is up to you—and making good decisions about who to trust can mean the difference between success and failure. Omitted details and skewed priorities could be a warning sign of hardships yet to come.