E-commerce transactions are all about trust. Customers need to feel 100% confident that their personal information and payment details are stored and transmitted with total security, or they simply won’t make a purchase. When breaches do happen, the damage – both financially and psychologically – can be immense, and as a result, businesses simply can’t afford to ignore the seriousness of transaction security. Thankfully, there are some straightforward steps companies can take to keep the bad guys at bay, and the following six practices represent some of the most effective ones.
1) Utilize the Fraud Protection Tools Available to You
Fraud is a serious business, and it’s incredibly costly. As a result, payment processors are invested in helping you ensure transaction and chargeback fraud don’t happen, and most offer tools specifically designed to prevent them. Those tools are often free and, while simple, incredibly effective at catching suspect transactions. Examples include CVV checks using the three or four-digit code on the back of a card, address verifications, and more. BAMS merchants have access to a number of fraud protection measures, including Verified by Visa, Mastercard SecureCode, and BAMS partnership with Verifi, a leading eCommerce fraud protection service.
2) Keep Your Business Fully PCI Compliant
PCI compliance is incredibly important, and maintaining full compliance is a requirement in order to maintain the terms of your merchant agreement. Failing to meet PCI standards comes with a number of consequences, ranging from additional monthly fees to loss of account, to major fines in cases where a data breach occurs. To stay compliant, regularly test your systems and keep up with your self-assessment questionnaires to ensure you find any weaknesses before a bad actor does – a scenario that could be incredibly costly to your business.
3) Make Customers Prove That They’re Humans
Hackers don’t like manual work, and as a result, they automate their attacks as much as possible. That makes CAPTCHAs an effective front-line defense to help weed out bad actors by making customers prove that they’re humans, not bots, before accepting a transaction. CAPTCHAs are those little fields on the website requiring you to enter a string of numbers that you see, identify objects in an image, or any number of tests that are easy for people but hard for bots. They’re extremely easy to implement on a site, and they represent almost no nuisance to users, making them a valuable tool that should be incorporated into every checkout page.
4) Make Monitoring and Reconciliation a Daily Practice
One of the most important steps to fighting fraud is to notice it’s happening in the first place. The difference in cost and damage done between fraud caught early and fraud given time is enormous, so companies absolutely must nip it in the bud right away. One of the simplest ways to do that is to make transaction monitoring and account reconciliation more frequent tasks – ideally, daily. By checking transactions and reconciling accounts daily, the suspicious activity will never go more than a day without being caught, ensuring that payment processors can be notified immediately, and action can be taken to stop the fraud and mitigate damage before it really even gets started.
5) Ensure Your Systems Are Up to Date
Nothing makes a hacker smile like an outdated system. Updates are annoying, but they exist for a reason, and failing to keep software and systems fully up to date ensures that weaknesses that have been previously identified (and patched in the most recent update) remain easy points of entry for bad actors. While always installing updates can sometimes be a slight headache, it’s a simple and incredibly effective way to keep systems as secure as possible.
6) Be Smart and Stay Educated
The fight against cyber-fraud is a never-ending arms race in which each side is constantly looking to outsmart the other, and every new patch only drives the bad guys to get even more creative with their next exploit. One of the best ways you can keep your eCommerce systems safe is simply by keeping up with the latest news in cybersecurity to ensure you have an idea of what the newest threats look like, and that you’re aware of the tools and options at your disposal to fight fraud.
Combating cyber-fraud is an important task because a data breach has the potential to cost your company immensely. Luckily, when you choose BAMS for your merchant services, you gain a partner that considers the safety and security of your transactions – and your business, as an extension – to be the highest priority.