With each passing year, cyber attacks against companies around the world increase in both number and intensity. In addition to lost shareholder value, damaged reputations and exposure to lawsuits, financial losses following security breaches can reach as high as tens of millions of dollars.
Consequently, the protection and use of customer data is a top concern for any organization that values its customers. This is especially true when it comes to protecting cardholder data and personal information, which were compromised in recent high-profile cyber attacks against well-known brands and retailers. Organizations that fail to meet stringent regulations in regard to data security and payment standards can face fines, penalties and even termination of the right to accept credit and debit cards.
In an attempt to combat data breaches, U.S. card companies are mandating a migration to EMV standards of credit-card transactions. EMV is an encrypted method of transferring credit data. European markets and other developed countries have already completed the migration to EMV and saw a drastic reduction of credit-related fraud; the hope is that EMV implementation in the U.S. will have a similar effect. To learn more about EMV, check out our step-by-step guide to EMV migration.
EMV migration may help in protecting your customer data, but there are many other steps you can take to ensure your customers’ privacy. While managing personal customer information is necessary for conducting transactions, having a plan in place for the assessment, protection and disposal of customer data can bolster your organization against potential cyber threats.