A data breach is the intentional or unintentional release of secure information to an untrusted environment. Data breaches are unfortunately, not uncommon with the retail industry (both online and in-store) and are often due to hacking; the cause of which are unsecured credit card processing. These types of data breaches within businesses are also what lead to identity theft of customers. According to IdentityTheft.Info, there are approximately 15 million United States residents who have their identities used fraudulently each year with financial losses totaling upwards of $50 billion. The Ponemon Institute stated that the average cost of cybercrime for U.S. retail stores more than doubled from 2013 to an annual average of $8.6 million in 2014.
While hacking is quite prevalent, there are things you can do to reduce your risk of hacking/fraud and improve your business’ cybersecurity.
- The most important thing to do is invest in a secure and trusted online credit card processing company with advanced fraud mitigation services on their platform. While systems might encrypt data when it leaves your network, it often remains unencrypted inside your network. If a hacker can get into your network, it’s easy for them to quickly identify and steal credit card data.
- Businesses should invest in employee training regarding security awareness. Due to the high turnover rate and unskilled labor within the retail industry, it can be challenging to keep every employee informed on best security practices. However, regular training sessions can help prevent future mistakes and keep your business safe.
- It’s vital to have a comprehensive, up-to-date inventory of all corporate software applications. Without an accurate inventory, it can be difficult to detect new malware defects quickly due to the fact there is no known, secure baseline.
First Atlantic Commerce is a leading provider of secure online payment solutions. Contact us today to learn more about our online merchant services, including real-time credit card processing, 3-D secure pre-authentication services, fraud mitigation, and more.