If you own a store and take credit and debit card payments from customers -- and you've been putting off having your system checked to ensure it complies with the latest Payment Card Industry Standards -- you could be in for a tough time. These data security standards are meant to protect your customers' information from potential computer security threats. You may think you're a small store, but that doesn't mean you're protected from possible trouble.
If your system is not up to the latest standards, that means your system is vulnerable. New standards are released when the major credit card companies identify more threats and ways to protect against them. If you don't update, you could be left behind in the non-secure dust, so to speak. And people looking for easy targets know that smaller stores are often the ones that delay updating. That increases the chances that your company could be targeted by hackers trying to get financial information from unsuspecting customers. You're best off updating quickly.
Loss of Customer Base
If word gets out that your system was breached, or that your system was not adhering to the latest safety standards, your customers could walk. They want to know that when they buy something from you, their information will be safe. If it's revealed that you didn't keep their information safe, they may decide that your competitors would be safer bets.
Along with the loss of business could come some lawsuits, either individual or class action. Don't take that chance. These can drag on for years and often end up with companies giving customers a settlement. And if you're running a small business, you might not have the money, or even the insurance, to cover a legal loss like that.
Loss of Card Support
Finally, these data standards are required by the major card companies and banks. If you fall behind, you could find that you can no longer accept cards from specific banks or companies, which could also cause a drop in business because of the loss of convenience for the customer.
It's easy to have your system assessed for Payment Card Industry Standards, so there's no reason to put it off. If you're not sure where to start, you can always call your contact at one of the credit card companies you work with, and the people there can point you in the right direction.
Contact a company like The Cyber Watch for more information and assistance.