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We need a standard to protect and secure customer data e.g. payment card information during an online or offline transaction to prevent fraud, identity theft, lost of sales and etc. The goal of customer data security is to protect cardholder’s data that is processed, stored or transmitted by merchants who operate an ecommerce or retail business.
Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard is a procedure used to protect data where its vulnerable.

Data is vulnerable in:

• system database

• Compromised card readers and PoS Systems

• Paper records improperly stored

• Hidden camera recording entry of authentication data

• Secret tap into your store’s wireless or wired network

• ATMs modified to contain software or hardware shims

• Residual Information in RAM of systems that accept payment card information (RAM Scraping)

• EVERYWHERE!!! Where there’s a will there’s a way!

In an age where high-profile companies like Sony and Target are susceptible to cyber attacks and hackers, protecting your customers’ information is very important. Facebook’s recent past has shown us that transparency and customer data security is vital. So what’s the best way to make sure you can fend off hackers and maintain customer trust? Here are five ways to keep your customers’ data safe.

1. You are always a target

Never assume it won’t happen to you or your company. Complacency is the easiest way to become vulnerable to cyber attacks. Almost half of all cyber attacks are targeted at small businesses because they don’t invest in internet data security and they haven’t taken the proper measures to protect their customer’s data.

The major problem is that most small businesses tend to have fewer financial and material resources at their disposal as compared to bigger companies, so they often just cross their fingers and hope for the best. Every small business, whether they’re selling products from brick and mortar set-ups or strictly e-commerce, should invest in data security to protect their customers and their data. When it comes to cybersecurity, you can never be too careful. A little bit of cautiousness and reasonable skepticism will take you a long way.

2. Acquire endpoint data protection system & cyber Security Softwares

Invest in antivirus and cybersecurity software. When it comes to hacking and cybersecurity, it’s always better to trust the gurus rather than doing it on your own. Some of the best cyber security softwares in the markets are Seqrite endpoint security, norton endpoint security, Mcaffee endpoint security,  Avast Business Antivirus Pro, Kaspersky Endpoint Security  and Bitdefender Business Security.  These enterprise endpoint security softwares offers an all round comprehensive firewall protection for your business to protect your customers data.

Once you have deployed the proper security software, you must keep it up to date or  patch the software. The provider of the security softwares always release new updates to protect you from current security threats and if you make the mistake of putting off  software updates, you are leaving backdoors open for hackers to come in and compromise your customers’ data.

Network attacks are becoming very common this days because of the expansion of the internet and the world wide web. For this reason companies have to deploy firewall devices to prevent the outside network or internet from having direct access to the companies inside network also known as LAN local area network. Some firewall devices are Cyberoam, Sophos, Fortigate and etc.

It might not be an easy task to keep your security softwares updated, reboot your system or schedule updates, but the benefits far outweigh the minor inconveniences. You can contact Netcat Technology Solutions Nigeria for more help.

Download my ebook on how to secure your customer data, create trust and improve your business.

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Emeka Ogbuka

Emeka Ogbuka is an IT specialist in technology, application, web development, cyber-security, virtualization, cloud computing, backup, computer networking, and digital marketing.He has worked in the information technology, manufacturing and hospitality sector

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