Chase Success, but do so with Caution

Technological innovations do not evolve on a linear path, they often progresses via booms and busts. One thing is certain though, they always evolve. Companies are able to promote themselves in numerous ways to consumers- whether via email, TV commercials, magazine ads, internet popups, and the list continues. We are on the forefront of modern technology- with advancements in wearable technology we are where only action or science fiction movies have shown us before.

The rapid evolution of technology has considerable effects on both our lifestyle and culture. “Tweet” is now officially a word in the Oxford English Dictionary! The contemporary consumer appreciates the ease of online shopping via computers, tablets, or smartphones. Applications have been developed to settle debts or transfer funds between bank accounts in an instant. However, as consumers, we must be careful, and ask the necessary questions--Are these apps safe and secure? Can I trust it enough to link it to my bank account? If I do, is the app guaranteeing the same level of data security as my bank? Do they have to operate by the same regulations?

Living in a mobile society gives consumers and businesses the ability to be more efficient. With the beneficial mobile features created for consumers, also comes the potential for criminals to try and take advantage of these unknowing consumers. Much like the relationship between a virus and a vaccine, with the good always comes the potential for evil. Luckily for us, we are not doomed, and can take the necessary precautions to ward away these people. In the context of retail markets, these evils can manifest themselves in credit card fraud. In response we turn to PCI Compliance and advanced data security services integrated within our ERP systems, allowing everyone to sleep better at night.

In 2014, consumers learned that Target, a major national retailer, was victim to a data breach where over 70 million customer’s credit and debit card information was stolen.  This raises concerns- if such a big powerhouse like Target is vulnerable, what is preventing every other business, especially the smaller, less known ones, from being breached?  Today, companies are investing more in data security to make sure that their customer information is protected. According to Gartner, total information security spending is projected to grow 8.2 percent this year to $76.9 billion dollars worldwide, up from $71.1 billion in 2014.

PCI compliance in today’s age is considered a prerequisite in protecting client account information. Certain standards must be met:

-          Building and maintaining a secure network

-          Protecting cardholder data & encrypting transmission across open, public networks

-          Maintaining a vulnerability management program (upgrading anti-virus/ secure systems)

-          Implementing strong access control measures (computer access ID’s for ex.)

-          Regularly monitoring and testing networks

-          Maintaining an information security policy

PCI compliance is the necessary first step for IT managers, yet it is in the interest of savvy retailers to take extra measures to secure consumer trust. HSO’s wealth of knowledge within the retail industry and with enterprise business solutions allows us to fully comprehend this situation. Tokenization technology offers a viable solution for retailers, in that it provides in an extra layer of security for the crucial information they are entrusted with. It takes a customer’s card data, and converts it to a token with a unique ID. This service is available for both online and offline use, should emergency needs arise. In the event that a “trespasser” were able to bypass your system’s basic securities, they would only be able to access encoded data, rendering it essentially useless. The robbers would be able to see the token IDs, and thus lose any advantage they wanted to leverage via information of commercial value. Businesses cannot afford to lose customers or be set back in productivity due to data breaches. Consumer trust is at stake.

It is imperative for retailers to be proactive about data breach prevention and advanced information security options. Ideally, the goal is to prevent disruptions from ever occurring. However, should that emergency situation arise, it is equally important to be able to respond appropriately should a disruption ever occur. Multi-channel retailers are able to reach customers via many different avenues. However as they widen their reach into the unexplored territories or the internet and social media, the potential risk increases as well. Tokenization technology helps manage some of the immediate stress in dealing with emergencies, should they ever occur. Contact us for 

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