While credit card processing capabilities have become crucial for merchants to expand in today’s market, small business merchants face dangerous risks should they not properly protect their payment process. Criminals are shifting away from hacking into large enterprise systems and instead, targeting small merchants, hoping to take advantage of oversights and negligence that leave these merchants vulnerable to attack.
More than 80% of data attacks are targeted toward small merchants. That’s why PCI compliance is a requirement for businesses big and small, as PCI guidelines are put in place to protect merchants, businesses and consumers. So what happens if a small-business merchant fails to comply with PCI standards? And how do small merchants achieve PCI compliance? Find the answers below.
Consequences of a Credit Card Data Breach
When customers hand over their credit cards to make a purchase, it means they trust you with their sensitive information. If their credit card data is stolen because you do not comply with PCI standards and don’t have the proper security measures in place, then you must face the potential consequences, including hefty fines and penalties, legal costs and settlements, loss of customer trust and loyalty, and even the possibility of going out of business. While the upfront costs of PCI compliant security solutions may seem like too much for your small business, consider the ultimate costs if you don’t comply.
What are common PCI violations that can lead to potential security breach?
Storing unnecessary data is a common violation of PCI standards, and can be easily fixed with an advanced PCI tokenization system that replaces stored data with tokens. Another mistake merchants make is not changing the default passwords and settings after installing systems, as well as incorrect installation of POS systems.
How Small Businesses Can Achieve and Improve PCI Compliance
Complying with PCI standards doesn’t have to be a headache, especially with an experienced merchant account provider like BluePay that has the tools, resources and industry expertise needed to protect merchants. For example, BluePay’s tokenization solution helps merchants avoid the common PCI violation of storing unnecessary credit card data, as tokenization replaces credit card numbers with encrypted tokens so the real data is never stored onsite. Other PCI secure solutions from BluePay include end-to-end encryption (E2EE), address verification systems (AVS) and secure hosted payment forms.