When a thief steals a widget from your store, you lose the monetary value of that widget. Hopefully your insurance will cover you, but even if it doesn’t, the total damage is limited.
Not so with a data breach.
When a thief steals sensitive digital information, the potential damage is unlimited — both for you and your customers. This is because that criminal can use:
- Stolen email addresses for spam purposes
- Private personal details to blackmail or harass
- Credit card data to make unauthorized purchases
- Social Security numbers to steal entire identities
Any data that you store within your business is potentially up for grabs, and this info can be sold again and again to the highest bidder, making it difficult to ever fully recover from certain types of data breaches.
This is why it’s important to take steps to both detect and prevent data breaches within your business.
How to Detect a Potential Data Breach
There exist any number of ways to detect data breaches as they are happening. For example:
- Most types of virus software offer real-time malware detection, allowing you to know the moment that your company's IT system has been hacked.
- Some companies set up Google Alerts to notify them whenever their businesses’ names appear online. These alerts can help you identify if someone is using a fake version of your website for common phishing schemes.
- You can create a test email address and sign up for your company newsletter (but nothing else). If you ever receive a non-company email at that address, you know your larger customer list has somehow become compromised.
Many of our clients also take advantage of our fraud management filters. These tools double as both detection and prevention, allowing you to automatically flag suspicious activity within your payment environment. Thereafter, you can take the appropriate action and report any fraudulent instances directly to us.
How to Prevent Data Breaches
Detection is obviously very important, but the best protection is prevention. In a companion article, we outlined some commonsense strategies for reducing the frequency and severity of data breaches in the future.
Yet how do you prevent the most dangerous types of information theft – i.e., instances in which criminals walk away with millions in stolen credit cards and bank accounts?
This is something we think about constantly at BluePay. Although our payment processing is PCI compliant, we recognize that this threshold represents the bare minimum in mandatory data security. This is because criminal hacking strategies continue to evolve faster than the payment industry can keep up.
As a result, we continue developing and improving our own data protection tools to help you stay several steps ahead of potential thieves. We've already covered BluePay's fraud management filters above. However, we also provide:
- Support for Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV) credit card processing, near field communication (NFC) and other secure payment technologies that make data theft far more difficult.
- Tokenization that substitutes sensitive payment data with one-time tokens that only our secure servers can decrypt.
- Point-to-point encryption (P2PE) to make sure that all payment data remains safe from prying eyes — even when sent over public networks.
- Hosted payment pages that allow your customers to buy your products and services without ever submitting credit card details on your website. The beauty of this fraud prevention approach is that your business doesn’t collect or store financial data to steal.
To learn how BluePay can help you both detect data breaches and prevent these attacks from negatively affecting your business, schedule a free appointment with our payment security team today.