While most people still think cyber criminals only go after large corporations and established brands, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Just because media outlets don’t report on small business hacks it doesn’t mean they don’t happen. In fact, according to a 2019 Verizon report, a staggering 43% of all cyber-attacks target small to medium size businesses.
This is not even a new trend, cybercriminals have been attacking small companies for years. Why do cybercriminals keep attacking small companies? Mainly because small companies don’t have enough manpower and resources to keep their data secure. What’s worse, when it comes to credit card data, many companies don’t even follow the basic security guidelines.
Taking Your Financial Security to the Next Level
For many small business owners, keeping security at a high level sounds almost impossible. For starters, they don’t have enough funds to keep an entire IT team on staff to ensure everything is secured at all times. However, no matter how much money you have, you have to know that ignoring security issues is practically impossible in today’s day and age.
According to research done by the Ponemon Institute, 67% of companies have experienced a cyber attack in 2018, while 58% experienced a data leak.
Even if you don’t have any experience with IT security, you should invest some time and money in PCI and PSD2 compliance. This will help you avoid a potential catastrophe that comes with data leaks. If your business deals with customers, you need to make sure that their data is safe at all times. Only then, you will earn their trust and loyalty.
We are going to take a look at the PCI and PSD2 compliance systems and see how they can help you keep your business safe from online criminals.
What is PCI Compliance?
When you take a credit card from a customer, you receive a good deal of highly sensitive information. The PCI sets security standards for businesses that deal with customers’ credit card data and ensures that it stays safe. These standards are monitored by the PCI council.
The council’s requirements, titled Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards – or PCI DSS for short – are managed by some of the biggest credit card companies in the world, including MasterCard, VISA, and American Express.
You might be wondering, just how effective is this compliance? According to 2017 Verizon study of PCI DSS compliance:
- 77% of companies affected by a data breach are not in compliance with the #1 PCI requirement: installing a firewall
- There is a clear connection between data safety and up-to-date PCI standards
- The number of companies that are 100% compliant with PCI is growing considerably on a year-by-year basis
What is PSD2 Compliance?
Over the years, the number of online transactions grew significantly. Consequently, the DSS regulations, written way back in 2006, needed updating. Last September, the Payment Services Directive 2 – or PSD2 for short – went into effect. The directive applies to any company that could potentially engage with European users. This includes international companies as well.
Although PSD2 has been touted as a boon for consumers, small businesses can also greatly benefit from it. In fact, PSD2 can help small companies in one of the most challenging business areas: access to capital. It will make data on your finances available to investors, who will, in turn, be able to assess their risk more carefully and give you access to capital more quickly.
Complying with these security standards should the number one priority for your company, regardless of its size. Even if you process only one credit card transaction per year, you still must comply. In the end, your customers will feel more secure and your business will flourish.