Data security for electronic payments is serious business in the world of B2B transactions. According to Infosecurity Magazine, close to 1.4 billion records were compromised in data breaches between January 1 and March 31 of 2018. Happily, these numbers - while still staggering - actually represent a significant decline from Q1 of 2017, which saw 1,442 incidents exposing 3.4 billion records. Here are four ways to make sure that downward trend in data security incidents applies to the electronic payments you make to your vendors:
1. Make Use of Encryption for a Higher Level of Data Security
Using encryption is an excellent way to throw potential identity thieves off their game. Encryption basically pulls a bait and switch on would-be thieves. It scrambles your outgoing credit card info so that a hacker or phisher will only get an unintelligible mass of digits. Meanwhile, your real info is safely stored on a different server.
The PCI Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) implemented by the payments industry in the last decade ensures that your data is properly encrypted whenever you use a credit card to pay a vendor - including a virtual card.
2. Use Credit Card Tokenization to Increase Your Payments Security
Tokenization is an even better way to foil cyber-criminals. This process turns your credit card data into a series of random tokens. It's like paying a dollar to receive a token that you can use on the bus or subway. The token acts as currency in this situation. Meanwhile, since you aren't using your actual credit card info in the transaction, a criminal who intercepts the transmission will come away with a bunch of alphanumeric gibberish that they can’t use or exploit.
The most effective form of this system is known as offsite tokenization. In this form, all your credit card data is stored in a remote location, in most cases a server far from your own local computer network. In general, tokenization is a more secure form of data protection than encryption for protecting your digital payments. This is because all your original credit card data is scrambled rather than remaining intact.
3. Stop Generating a Paper Trail for Your B2B Transactions
One of the best things you can do for B2B security is to stop leaving a paper trail for thieves to follow. The sooner you eliminate paper receipts from the equation, the better. While it might have once been acceptable to store credit card data, expiration dates or other personal information, the safer bet is to store nothing on paper. Transitioning to electronic payments is obviously the easiest way to accomplish the zero-paper mission.
4. Monitor and Fully Secure Your Firewalls
When it comes to protecting the data security of your digital payments, you will need to make sure that your firewalls are always in the best working order. Information thieves salivate over unprotected networks. It's a matter of crucial importance to keep them in the best possible shape via strong firewall and security measures, and day-to-day security best practices.
Let a Professional Help You Ramp Up Your Security Practice
Kontrol Payables is available to assist you with our complete suite of payments industry consultancy and onboarding services. If you need help building up your data security and payments processing, we’re here to help. Contact Kontrol Payables to get started with making more secure payments.