Retail Cybersecurity, Point-of-Sale Breaches, and Customer Loyalty

An August 2016 report from global audit firm KPMG brings important news for payment platform operators and retailers alike. In an ever-changing digital world, businesses cannot afford to play fast and loose with sensitive information: American consumers are paying attention.

 

Retail Cybersecurity: The Survey

 

19% of survey respondents indicated that they would abandon any retailer that had been the victim of a successful data breach, even if the company took steps to remediate the damage. An additional 33% said that they would avoid shopping at an affected retailer for at least three months.

 

Skepticism also exists around the security of in-store mobile payment methods. 46% of surveyed adults rated these systems as “very” or “somewhat” unsafe, with an additional 15% responding that they did not know at all.

 

The Results

 

The bottom line is clear: retail businesses need to begin prioritizing customer data security if they want to stay competitive in the Information Age. Major brands like Eddie Bauer and Target have suffered massive point-of-sale breaches over the last two years, and in August hackers infiltrated multi-outlet POS system Oracle MICROS — one of the top three point-of-sale vendors in the world.

 

What Businesses Can Do

 

The KPMG report indicates that over half of surveyed companies haven’t invested in cybersecurity initiatives over the last twelve months — which, for all intents and purposes, means their systems are outdated. POS vendors and merchants will have to work together to ensure top-to-bottom integrity on their point-of-sale and other information security systems.

 

Some of the most effective new tactics for keeping customer data safe include advanced encryption methods like tokenization, as seen in the new Apple Pay. Payment data is assigned a random value or “token,” making it difficult for hackers to algorithmically decode — if they’re even able to harvest it, since point-to-point encryption keeps the information locked tight from the point of capture to the designated acquirer.

 

Furthermore, debit and credit cards now include an embedded microchip, which analyzes a user’s profile to assess fraud risk for each transaction in real time. These chips also combat “card skimming” by using a dynamically-generated cryptogram for each terminal transaction. Because the chip generates a new authorization code every time, point-of-sale hackers cannot copy the information and use it

to make fraudulent purchases.

 

End Mass Data Breaches with CertainSafe

 

CertainSafe’s proprietary products, including MicroEncryption® and MicroTokenezation®, break up sensitive data sets into encrypted files, convert them into ‘tokens,’ and store them in separate physical locations. This encryption process eliminates the possibility of a mass data breaches while allowing business to run smoothly.

 

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