For many businesses, the Black Friday / Cyber Monday weekend is a very lucrative time of year, scooping incredible profits, winning market share and gaining new customers. But it can also cause the biggest headache, facing the fight against cyber security hacks and data breaches.
Busy businesses and increased sale volumes lead to stretched teams and often loosening of procedures which creates the perfect environment for cybercriminals to showcase their capabilities and, in the worst case scenario, can result in lost revenue, lost customers, lost data and brand damage.
Many businesses think their sites are too small to attract attention but sadly this is not the case. Hackers are more often than not targeting smaller organisations, perceiving them to be less prepared. So how should you be arming your business to protect it from a cyber attack?
Your staff are the greatest asset you have in the fight against cybercrime. The best defence against an attack is the ability to recognise it early to minimise the impact so employees at every level should be well-informed and educated on what to look out for.
There should be an organisation-wide approach to tackling the cyber security threat, rather than the responsibility of one department, with investment in expertise and training worth every penny to ensure that all understand the potential risks and the impact that a data breach could have on the business.
Employing temporary staff during the busy period? It is vital that they are up to speed with procedures too or that extra supervision is in place. Would they recognise a potential threat and do they know who to report it to?
A robust IT and phone system
While your staff are your greatest asset, it is crucial that they have most effective tools at their fingertips. A card payment system that enables customers to enter their information either online or over the phone, encrypting and protecting the data as it transfers through the payment process so that it can’t be intercepted by hackers, will guarantee the most efficient and secure processing of sales.
Back up your data and make use of a secure replication server to safeguard your data in an environment external to your business. Double check that the latest software updates have been installed and that security certificates and sufficient firewalls are in place and up to date.
Comprehensive policies and procedures
So what do you do if something suspicious appears? The earlier a potential threat is recognised, the sooner the right measures can be undertaken to minimise risk and stem the impact to avoid further damage. Make sure that you have complete procedures in place and that the right people know about them.
Applying appropriate PCI DSS compliance procedures for your business will not only help protect your card payment processing system from hackers but going through the implementation process will also make sure you have the right procedures at the ready should you fall victim to a cyber attack.
At PCI Telecom, we create bespoke card processing systems for payments over the phone or online that are PCI DSS Level 1 accredited. We take the responsibility of PCI DSS compliance and stress of payment data protection and encryption off your shoulders so that you can focus on the day to day management of your core business. Get in touch to find out more about how we can help.