If your opinions are based mostly on the news sources, it can be easy to get the opinion that hackers don’t invest their energy in small-fry operations; the data proves just the opposite. According to a Verizon study from 2019, up to 43% of data breaches involve small businesses. Healthcare payment processing, too, is a major target of fraudsters: an additional 15% of victims were healthcare organizations.
High-profile data breaches of big-box realtors like Target, etc. are the minority because generally speaking, they’re more likely to have systems, processes, and procedures in place to thwart would-be hackers. While the payout for a successful data breach is many orders of magnitude greater than your mom-and-pop business, it also takes a lot more effort, luck, and time for the payoff. The typical small business, by comparison, is small payout, but small effort. Multiplied by all the businesses across the nation, and these small payouts add up to big business for organized crime syndicates.
Perhaps predictably, more often than not, human error is to blame for security breaches. Phishing scams through email and other malware attacks are surprisingly effective and can be less time consuming than other hacking methods. Obviously, to keep your customer info safe, data security needs to be addressed not just from a tech standpoint, but through education and store policies, too.
Another surprising statistic is that, while the attacks themselves only take minutes to carry out, they often go undiscovered for a long period of time. Two-thirds of the breaches went undiscovered by the target for months or more! This represents a huge liability for the businesses targeted and can open them up to greater penalties and even legal action by the victims of the breach. Secure systems are one thing; in order to be on top of your security, you’ll need to also be vigilant.
Companies of all sizes, therefore, need to ensure that they are doing everything to follow best practices in staying compliant. For a majority of businesses, this means taking network security seriously. Because most point-of-sale systems function on the small business’s network, this is the first line of defense. In fact, in order to stay compliant with PCI (Payment Card Industry) standards, you need to ensure that your network is secure to the Data Security Standards (DSS) laid out. These standards apply to ANY organization that accepts payment cards, regardless of size and number of transactions.
Luckily, you have help. Moolah uses Authorize.Net, which is one of the most established payment gateways in the industry. One of the many benefits of this organization is its assistance with PCI compliance. Their educational resources empower small businesses to go beyond having secure tech, but also have the knowhow to minimize the chance of human error. Healthcare payment processing, small businesses of any kind, and anyone who accepts credit card payments can, therefore, benefit from the secure payment systems that Moolah and Authorize.Net provides. Don’t assume you’ll be safe because of the size of your business. Do everything to make sure your customers’ info stays secure by staying PCI compliant with Moolah.