SECURE ONLINE PAYMENT
Data breaches have become a common phenomenon among eCommerce businesses. They negatively impact businesses with unforeseen costs running into millions of dollars.
Compromising on the personal and financial information of millions of customers, these data breaches can have a devastating effect on both large and small businesses. Given the fact that bigger businesses can recover from such attacks, smaller businesses are always left behind, asking for help.
For the benefit of all such small e-businesses, this article sheds light on 9 actionable tips that can help them secure their payment gateways.
#1 Selection Of A Secure Platform Is Paramount
The first and the most evident tip for small businesses in 2019 is to pick and choose a secured interface to transact online.
Only those eCommerce platforms that strongly demonstrate their goal towards online security can be picked. That means you can safely choose a platform that provides multiple layers of security.
All those that use SSL Certificate for Website Security can become your first choice. At times, customer reviews regarding security features can also become your deciding factor for you to select the most secured online interface amongst the many.
#2 PCI–DSS Compliance Is A Non-Negotiable Security Standard
Small businesses should know everything about the Payment Card Industry – Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS). These are a set of mandatory guidelines that should be followed by businesses accepting online payments.
While subscribing to a Wildcard SSL certificate can be a welcome move, you as the owner of a small eCommerce business should respond to the PCI Self-Assessment Questionnaire that allows you to answer the security-related questions with a “YES” or “NO”. This feedback can help you understand the level of security you are offering to your eCommerce clients.
#3 Firewalls Offer The Much-Needed Defense Cover
Alongside implementing the PCI-DSS specifications, it pays to erect strong firewalls as the first gateway to security. Owners of small e-businesses should maintain effective firewalls which can effectively monitor and cut down on damaging online traffic.
You can choose from Cisco’s ASA 5505, McAfee, FireEye, Palo Alto, and FortiNet.
#4 Look Out For Platforms That Don’t Store Crucial Customer Data
Online shoppers should know that there are stringent rules regarding storing customer information like the CVV data. Research indicates that a significant 95% of credit card breaches come from small businesses.
Small businesses should hence not save CVV data of customers so as to secure their brand loyalists from online frauds. Such businesses should discard crucial customer data after the completion of a transaction.
In the event small businesses would want to store information like account number of a customer, they can do so by taking appropriate security measures.
Small entrepreneurs can go for a private network, adopt encryption standards or employ a cloud-based storage. All these options can safeguard your customer details from falling prey to online frauds.
#5 Advice About The Common Causes Of Online Breaches
Small businesses should know that a majority of data breaches with online payments occur due to mistakes committed by their employees. Despite complying with state-of-the-art security systems human errors crop up when the concerned people are not trained in the principles of primary security.
Entrepreneurs should hence educate their employees about the various types of security threats that can hamper their business.
You should also stress the importance of verifying transactions along with avoiding to click suspicious e-mail attachments. You can also warn your personnel against sharing crucial information with undeserving individuals.
It is also important for you to inform your personnel to never leave official USB drives or storage devices on workstations unattended.
#6 Compartmentalize Your Networks
Another tip that can come in handy to small eCommerce businesses is to have a designated storage of all the credit card information of your customers. Care should be taken to keep this crucial information away from the network that your employees use on a regular basis.
When you compartmentalize networks, you will be in a strong position to secure your customers’ data from hackers. It is also important that you encrypt all the customer data.
#7 Encryption And Tokenization – The Two Important Security Procedures
Outdated systems are always prone to cyber-attacks. It is hence very important for small eCommerce businesses to update their systems by downloading and installing updates as and when they are available.
In addition to updating all your systems, you should also employ the two important security measures called encryption and tokenization.
With encryption, you can ensure that the crucial data does not become accessible to others who do not have a proper code to activate it. Speaking of tokenization, this is a procedure that will replace the actual customer’s data with a value that is assigned according to certain specifications.
Both these security procedures can safeguard the original data that is being used by small eCommerce interfaces.
#8 Verification Of Every Transaction Is Mandatory
Owners of small e-businesses can verify transactions even in the absence of a customer’s card. They can do so by:
- Ensuring an Address Verification System (AVS) match by cross-checking the billing address with the address details that are stored in the records of the payment issuing bank.
- Making it mandatory for customers to key in their secret CVV number to complete a transaction.
- To be watchful over strange email addresses. You should also look out for shipping addresses which originate from an area with the maximum number of online frauds and avoid transacting with such customers.
- It is also important that you verify all your online payments through the Automated Clearing House (ACH) network.
#9 Unlock The Significance Of Multi-Factor Authentication
Customers complain of security breaches that occur despite keying in strong passwords on eCommerce interfaces. Such a situation can be avoided if you implement various methods of authentication. Options include biometric and keystroke authentication.
If you are unable to handle biometrics, you can include a security question that needs to be answered by the customer so as to complete the transaction.
You can alternatively use a selected online security image that should be confirmed by your customers. These are the multi-factor authentication tips that promise cybersecurity.
It is always better to be safe than to be sorry. In line with this adage, owners of small e-businesses can adopt the above-mentioned 9 tips to secure their payment gateways. By implementing this advice, small e-businesses will attract the attention of customers with a sense of pride that online security is their prime concern.