Take Credit Cards for Payment? – Part 1: You Need to Know This

An Introduction to Business Protection and Credit Cards

At Garner IT Consulting, we have the goal of protecting your computer network and its data while your business expands and prospers. With that goal in mind, this short blog post is an introduction to credit card use, data security, and something known as compliance.

Credit Card Convenience and Risk

Credit cards are a convenient method of payment for businesses and buyers. It is a fact that businesses that accept credit cards have a significantly higher volume of clients, customers, and transactions. However, it is a bit of an oxymoron that anything convenient is generally less secure. Anything highly secure can also be inconvenient.

If you accept credit cards, you want your business/customer data to be as safe and secure as possible. At Garner IT, we strive to protect your business and customer data while creating an easy way for you to receive payments.

The Payment Card Industry (PCI) and the Security Standards Council (SSC)

The Payment Card Industry, or PCI, was created by its founding members: MasterCard, Visa, JCB (Japan Credit Bureau), American Express, and Discover. Then these members established the Security Standards Council. The Council leads the way for businesses of all sizes to be in compliance with standards that positively affect every legitimate business. If your business is not a Participating Organization, we urge you to become involved.

Why Be Compliant?

In a word: protection. Compliance with the guidelines, rules, and quality assurance protocols of the Council is required so that everyone is protected: credit card companies, businesses of all sizes, and customers or clients. Protection leads to customer satisfaction. Credit cards can be hacked, but if they are, you don’t want the loss of vital customer information tracked back to something your business did wrong.

The Council and Garner IT Consulting can guide your business to assure that Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is as secure as possible because it is the gold that cyber criminals are mining for on the web.

A Straight Forward Solution to a Complex Problem: the SSC

The PCI Security Standards Council is a global open body formed to develop, enhance, disseminate and assist with the understanding of security standards for payment account security. The SSC maintains, evolves, and promotes the Payment Card Industry Security Standards. It also provides critical tools needed for implementation of the standards such as assessment and scanning qualifications, self-assessment questionnaires, training and education, and product certification programs.

Size Does Matter

The majority of hackers don’t want to hack into the U.S. Treasury. They prefer easy bucks and soft targets. That is why 85% of cyber-robbery involves small to medium size businesses(SMBs). SMBs are considered easy marks for these cold-hearted crooks. As a rule of thumb, small businesses have fewer than one hundred employees; medium sized businesses have between 100 and 1,000 employees. There are far more SMBs than giant corporations. That’s a lot of soft targets and many with inadequate security defense.

At Garner IT, We Can Help

This introduction is the first of three blog posts about credit card use, the Payment Card Industry, and your business as a Participating Organization.

Other posts will target topics including: interacting with individual credit card companies to achieve compliance; sources of valuable information; some key data security practices; and a few esoteric but important components of compliance such as Chip and PIN, point to point encryption, tokenization, and non-compliance penalties.

Finally, here is one last important consideration: the reality is that there is nothing anyone can do to ensure that data is absolutely unavailable to cyber criminals. Even being perfectly compliant won’t achieve that unrealistic goal. However, compliance is a critical baseline that experts have determined is a best effort, and if a breach still occurs, you’ve done the best anyone can ask for.

The professionals at Garner IT strive to provide a cost-effective approach to PCI compliance that will assure maximum data security, your peace of mind, and real prosperity for your business. Give us a call at 850.250.3210 or drop by our offices at 1330 Harrison Avenue, Panama City, Bay County, Florida. We’ll give you a warm welcome.

Best wishes, Randall and Julie Garner and the entire Garner IT team of professionals.


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