When you think of cyber crime in business, some very big-name companies come to mind: Facebook, Target, and Starwood Hotels. These are just a few to have been victimized by hackers, but, when it comes to cyber security, hackers hone in and see small businesses as the low-hanging fruit.
The numbers are pretty staggering. The 2018 HISCOX Small Business Cyber Risk Report found:
- 47 percent of small businesses had at least one attack in the last year
- 44 percent had two to four attacks
- 67 percent of business owners and executives indicated they were concerned or very concerned about cyber threats
- The average cost to a small business for a cyber attack is $34,600
Small businesses are targeted for many obvious reasons. They often fail to recognize security threats, fail to invest in security, and fail to educate their employees on basic preventative measures.
Retail establishments are particularly vulnerable to security breaches, with reported breaches rising at an astonishing rate. In fact, according to the 2018 Thales Data Threat Report, breaches hit 50 percent of retailers last year, a huge leap from 2017 (only 19 percent). Fully 75 percent of retailers had been breached at some time in the past.
The good news is that retailers are beginning to wise up. The Thales Data Threat Report reported that 84 percent of retailers planned on increasing their security spend, including 28 percent, who planned on a “much higher” spend.
Security: A Matter of Business Survival
Security isn’t just a smart thing for a business to have, it’s a necessity.
Becky Sunseri is the owner and founder of Tin Pot Creamery in Palo Alto. Selling handmade ice cream, Tin Pot is a high-volume sales operation. With so many sales, Sunseri can’t afford to have point of sale technologies that are not absolutely secure.
“As a business owner I do not want a security breach, ever,” Sunseri says. “Clover is so secure, so it’s like a weight is lifted off my shoulders. Security is just something I don’t have to worry about and that’s really, really, great.”
“If a customer is not comfortable sharing their card information and their personal information, then we have no sales, we have no business,” she says. “So their comfort level determines whether we’re successful or not.”
Because small business owners often feel they don’t have the time or expertise to fully protect themselves from cyber attacks, they need to find a security solution that is comprehensive, affordable, and relatively easy to implement. For retailers, restaurateurs, and other small businesses relying on point-of-sale (POS) technologies, it is essential to find POS systems with fully integrated security features.
Fortunately, there are POS providers with the ability to not just deliver 360-degree security, but to make the implementation and day-to-day usage both intuitive and simple, even for the least technology-savvy individual.
Clover, for example, provides turnkey solutions for small business owners through its Clover Security Plus package. The Clover Security package offers businesses accepting credit cards with myriad ways of securing critical customer and business data.
Encryption and Tokenization
The Thales Study found that encryption and tokenization are the top choices for securing customer information. Both are baked into the Clover Security solution.
Encryption is the process of transforming text and data into an encoded version that can only be decoded by another entity if they have access to a decryption key.
Remarkably, in the U.S. retail industry only 26 percent report implementing encryption.
Tokenization is the process of replacing sensitive data with unique identification symbols. Tokenization replaces cardholder data with random numeric tokens. If your database is the target of a hacker, no customer card numbers or other payment information can be used should it get stolen.
Companies of any size that accept credit card payments and store, process, and transmit cardholder data must comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). Full compliance can be tricky, but Clover Security’s PCI Rapid Comply® solution helps simplify the process.
The PCI Rapid Comply® solution includes a guided, step-by-step Self Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ) tool to help complete the annual questionnaire with ease--an integrated scanning tool for merchants that is required to pass quarterly scans and comprehensive support online via chat, email, and phone to ensure all the questions get answered.
EMV Enabled POS
Merchants are required to be able to process EMV chip-based cards. EMV cards store your data on a microprocessor chip embedded in the card.
Unlike magnetic strip enabled credit cards, EMV chip-based cards generate fresh user data every time you transact, making it nearly impossible for fraudsters to copy your original data from your card.
All Clover POS systems are chip-compliant taking this worry off of the shoulders of merchants and restaurateurs.
There’s a reason why small business owners are the primary targets of cyber criminals. They possess a wealth of cardholder information and are much less likely than larger businesses to have the necessary security features in place to combat cyber theft.
While Clover’s technology is behind some of the biggest businesses in the world, it has also focused heavily on the security issues faced by small businesses and has put together a security offering that is comprehensive, intuitive, and affordable. From compliance and technology to service and support, Clover has small business covered.
Clover is also running a contest for small businesses to win up to $100K and a bunch of other cool prizes. To learn more, visit the official CloverAchievers landing page.