The payments sector is continuously changing with the quick introduction of new payment mechanisms and technology. While this increases the convenience of online banking and transfers, it also raises security risks that fraudsters may exploit.
In fact, a recent study found that since the pandemic began, cybercrime has increased in 74% of banks. For this reason, payment systems, financial institutions, and other participants in the payments business must understand how to strengthen their cyber defenses. Given the increasing risks to defense contractors, managed IT services for government contractors has become essential. Now, payments industry is also facing cybersecurity risks.
Here are some suggestions to get you started if you work in the payments business and want to improve your cybersecurity:
1. Maintain software updates.
One of the most popular ways for cybercriminals to access computers is through outdated software.
Let’s assume that your computer’s operating system (OS) is Windows 7, which no longer gets security updates. If you choose to use the OS, fraudsters can simply control your devices and steal critical data, such as payment information, by taking advantage of unpatched vulnerabilities.
Furthermore, firms find it challenging to adhere to specific compliance rules when they use obsolete software. For example, PCI DSS Requirement 6 specifies that systems need to have the proper security updates to protect against the misuse of cardholder data.
Because of this, you must always ensure that all of your software, including operating systems, programs, and browser extensions, is current. Set up automatic upgrades, if possible, to ensure your systems are always running the most recent version.
2. Educate your staff.
The most common reason for data breaches today is a human mistake, according to Verizon’s 2022 Data Breaches Investigations Report. This is why you need to provide cybersecurity awareness training for your staff. The instruction should cover such subjects as:
- Establishing secure passwords and activating multi-factor authentication is crucial
- The techniques for spotting dodgy websites and phishing emails
- How to handle sensitive information properly
- Affected parties of data breaches
- Acceptable use guidelines for self and company-issued devices
To assess your staff’s knowledge and develop their abilities, you can even run real-time phishing or malware assault simulations. To ensure that your personnel is knowledgeable about the most recent cybersecurity dangers, hold training sessions at least twice a year.
3. Create an incident response strategy.
Cybercriminals may still target your company regardless of how effective your cybersecurity measures are. So it’s crucial to have an incident response strategy in place.
The IT solutions and services company should include the actions you must do in the wake of a security breach in your incident response strategy, such as:
- Notifying the appropriate persons, including your staff, clients, and police enforcement
- Regaining access to damaged systems and data
- Modernizing your security measures
- Doing a post-mortem investigation to identify the incident’s underlying causes and explore preventative measures
Regularly practice your incident response strategy to be prepared in the case of a security breach. To ensure the effectiveness of your plan, make sure to review and update it frequently.
4. Conduct routine security audits.
You can find weaknesses in your infrastructure and payment procedures and assess the efficacy of your security controls by conducting routine security audits.
Covered companies must conduct quarterly network assessments and yearly penetration tests in accordance with PCI DSS Requirement 11. While SOC 2 Type 2 mandates that businesses that store customer data in the cloud have their security measures verified by a neutral third-party assessor once a year.
A trustworthy security company should carry out these audits to ensure accuracy.
5. Make use of a safe payment gateway.
Before reaching the merchant, when clients make online purchases, sensitive data, including credit card details and billing addresses, pass through several systems. Cybercriminals may be able to intercept this data along the route.
The firm can reduce this danger via a secure payment gateway by encrypting cardholder data during transmission. Additionally, it uses tokenization, which changes sensitive data into a random sequence of numbers. Even fraud analysis and prevention tools are included in secure payment gateways to assist you in preventing fraudulent transactions.