(This article was written by a guest writer. Please see the bottom to find out more about the author.)
These days, e-commerce payment processors are fairly secure and data breaches are not overly common. While this is true, it doesn’t mean that online businesses shouldn’t take every measure within their capacity to ensure that customer financial information stays out of the hands of nefarious third parties.
Luckily, there are a few simple steps every business can take to ensure they offer their clients a secure and reliable payment process.
1. Follow PCI Compliance Guidelines
The first thing any business should do when setting up a payment process is ensure they are Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliant. Formed in 2006, the PCI was assembled to develop and enforce regulation on large payment brands and help businesses, large and small, keep their data safe.
“PCI works closely with merchants, informing them of proper online security methods and will also compile reports of their online payment process, looking for any vulnerabilities hackers could use to gain access to their clients financial information,” says Nathan Marks, a tech writer at UKWritings and Academized.
2. Data Encryption
Data Encryption is the primary line of defense against data theft. For those who are unaware, data encryption works by scrambling text data into seemingly nonsensical lines of information that can only be deciphered with a special key. For example, a very basic form of encryption would involve substituting each letter in the alphabet for another. When this is done, the resulting text appears nonsensical until you have the substitution key. These days, encryption programs are much more complicated than this, and the level of encryption programs can offer is so strong that without the ley it is next to impossible for hackers to figure out.
This is another reason why being payment card industry compliant is so important; not all encryption products are up to date and some offer much higher levels of encryption than others. Staying PCL compliant is the best way to ensure all customer data is encrypted using the latest technology.
3. Safe Login System
Data encryption only helps keep safe information and data travelling from one source to another. If the login system isn’t secure, encryption will do little to keep customers financial data secure.
One of the most basic and efficient ways of doing so is by making use of the HTTPS protocol. Most people who have spent any time surfing the web may have noticed the little lock symbol next to a website’s URL. When this little lock icon is present it means the website is using the secure form of the HTTP protocol, known simply as HTTPS(ecure). If this icon is not present it can make it very easy for hackers to infiltrate your company’s website and steal login information.
Aside from this, should a user forget their login credentials, adding a two-factor credentials reset is a good way to add extra security. “Most websites use a simple email verification process to reset username or password, but this can be dangerous if someone’s email is compromised. Two-factor security involves adding a security question, phone number, or any other layer of verification when a password reset is in store,” says Richard Wisom, a blogger at EssayRoo and Liahelp.
4. Use An Updated Operating Systems
Whether it’s Windows or apple, operating systems are constantly undergoing updates. In some cases, these updates are simply to fix bugs and issues within the OS itself, but many of the updates are highly focused on security. If a company fails to update its OS in a timely manner, it could leave them exposed to security issues and vulnerabilities on the operating system level.
5. Conduct Regular Security Assessments
Businesses often fail to do this because they don’t like the added expense it incurs. While this may be an issue for some outfits that are struggling or just starting out, a major data breach can be a death sentence for an online business, especially in areas of high competition. If you own a business that deals with sensitive client financial information, you should conduct a security assessment at least once a year. This is another reason why becoming PCI compliant is so important because in some cases a basic security audit can be had for a very small amount of money.
Lauren Groff is a business development manager at State Of Writing and OXEssays. Over several decades, Lauren has helped businesses grow by guiding them towards the right decisions. In her off time, Lauren enjoys reading and writing about business development and much of her writings can be found at BoomEssays.