Servers & Systems: The Right Compute

5 steps to securing global payment data

Does your business conduct payments globally? Here are five tips to help secure your global payment data.

securing global payment data_blog_1038413923.jpgSmall businesses have a lot to be thankful for in the digital age. The ability to conduct business online and around the world has opened new opportunities for organizations of all sizes, giving even SMBs the opportunity to take part in a global market.

While online transactions have become commonplace, protecting global payment data still isn't easy. When so much customer financial data is at stake, how can businesses be certain their personal information is truly secure?

To help combat the struggles companies face when tackling data security, here are five tips for securing your organization's global payments.

1. Lock the door

Financial data comes in many forms. There are detailed numbers for accounting books; direct payment information, such as card numbers hidden inside e-wallets; and less critical metadata, such as receipts and payment history. The first common thread between these types of data is that you really don't want unauthorized eyes taking a peek at any of them. The second? They're all accessed in specific ways.

Only 30 percent of IT leaders at SMBs are confident they can thwart an attack against their organization, BizTech reports. It's only logical to assume that some bad actor is going to break into your network at some point. The first step toward securing your global payment data is therefore to restrict access to it so only trusted people can view it.

Payment data can be accessed via compromised endpoints, over the network during transactions, or while lying dormant on mobile devices. These points of access should be protected by physical and logical elements by employing firewalls, secure passwords, well-defined company policy, and—most importantly—safe data-handling practices.

2. Protect your assets

Protecting payment data in transit goes hand in hand with restricting data access. Focus on making sure that only the intended recipient can make any use of the information by encrypting the data at two levels.

First, secure the communication channel. Using secure protocols that encrypt data in stream will help prevent unwanted eyes peeking at your payment data. For added security (assuming your partners support it), you can also encrypt the data before transmission. This way, only those with a key to unlock the data will be able to read it. Modern encryption services are secure and simple, and they can help keep financial files safe from data breaches.

3. Keep a clean house

Maintaining a clean environment can keep your global payment data secure. Clean up your existing data stores to remove any outdated or otherwise unused financial data, and implement ongoing procedures to make sure irrelevant data is appropriately discarded on a regular basis.

Automation can be a boon to this process. Setting up automated tasks to search for inactive global payment data will help shore up any vulnerabilities in your environment. Don't forget about your backup and recovery solution, either, as any sensitive data stored for recovery must be monitored as well. The less sensitive data you carry, the less you have to worry about it.

4. Remain vigilant

Keeping a detailed log of payments made and received is common sense. Keeping a similarly close watch on your digital payment information is also crucial. Monitoring access, usage, and endpoints is not just a great way to make sure your financial data is protected from unauthorized eyes; it's also one of the best ways to ensure that your users are handling data correctly.

Modern infrastructure monitoring services make this task easy by presenting real-time logs in an accessible manner. Monitoring clients are available for portable devices, too. These solutions can help tie your data security strategy together.

5. Know your neighbors

Even the best security measures are only as good as those who implement them. Once your global payment data leaves the confines of your infrastructure, its security is in the hands of the other members involved in the transaction. As such, it's imperative to know that you're dealing with reputable partners who take data security as seriously as you do.

Accessing and storing digital payment data may never be a completely comfortable affair, but if you follow these five tips, your data will be protected by multiple layers of security—meaning you can rest a little easier.

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Robert Checketts
Hewlett Packard Enterprise

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About the Author


Robert has over 25+ years of IT Marketing and Product Management leadership experience spanning country, Regional and WW organizations. Robert is a marketing executive with extensive experience in field marketing, channel marketing and product marketing on a global basis and is driven to deliver SMB’s end-to-end affordable infrastructure that’s secure from the start, optimized for every workload, packaged for many consumption models, ready to scale, and easy to manage.