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Payment Processing Cybersecurity Risk Factors


A quarter of Americans were victims of a cybertheft, leading them to become paranoid of being victimized again. Because of this, most people do not trust payment processing systems due to the inherent security risks. However, retailers often overlook these risks, leading to poorly used services and lost revenue. You must alleviate your customers’ fear if you ever want successful online payment processing for your business.  

Your company must take cybersecurity seriously. Not dealing with the risks will cost you more than just money. Security breaches ruin your reputation, push away customers, and can lead to costly litigation.  However, you cannot just talk about security. You must understand your risks and then plan for them..   

You are Attacked Every Day 

Cyberattacks occur every day. Cyber criminals constantly invent new attack vectors, forcing cybersecurity professionals to innovate as well. This arms race is why you always have some cybersecurity risk. Thus, your company needs extensive and robust cybersecurity programs in place.  

Be diligent in Vendor Security

As you process payments, your firm handles lots of sensitive information, including documents that can personally identify your customers as well as their payment histories. On a good day, you handle millions of credit cards, social security numbers, and other credentials.  

Security breaches can come from any vulnerability. Recently, an insurance company paid a $5 million settlement when their payment vendor failed to prevent hackers from accessing their customer’ data by not updating their software. Your processing provider must be as serious about cybersecurity as you are. 

A part of this due diligence is checking their security certifications.  

Some important certifications include:  

  • Payment Card Industry (PCI) Security Standards – sensitive payment card information 
  • Service Organization Control (SOC) 1 and 2 – financial, operations, and compliance controls,  
  • NACHA – automated clearinghouse (ACH) payments. 

Other best practices include: 

  • Demand several penetration tests and vulnerability scans with proof of completion and the results 
  • Annual security questionnaires 
  • Conduct security assessments with an independent specialist 
  • Evaluate the vendor’s business continuity and disaster recovery strategy 

You should also ask your vendor about what cybersecurity investments they made to ensure your data will always be protected and available even during a disaster.  

Secure Your Mobile Apps

While you want user-friendly mobile apps for your customers, your efforts inadvertently add security vulnerabilities.  Fortunately, you can minimize the risks by keeping your app up to date with best practices concerning encryption, TLS/SSL certificates, access management, and other cybersecurity features. 

Adequate DDoS Protection 

Hackers use distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks to bring networks offline.  While many risk professionals see them as inevitable, you can still do something to protect yourself and your customers. For instance, you can use a cloud-based processing vendor as cloud computing reduces DDoS attacks through resource scaling.  

Make the Right Investment 

Your company rides on the security measures you use while processing customer payments. With the right precautions, your customers can rest easy knowing their information remains safe with you.   



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