As recent news stories have illustrated, a data breach can not only harm a company financially, but also damage their reputation and impact their clients’ trust. B2B companies need to proactively explore and implement measures to protect against payment security risks and reduce the impact that a data breach can have on their businesses.
Here are three reasons B2B companies need to take a greater stance and protect their business against data breaches:
- Financial impact of breaches is growing: Malicious attacks on customer data have grown in complexity and sophistication, making even large companies with advanced security measures vulnerable to cyber-attacks. According to a study conducted by the Ponemon Institute, “The global average cost of a data breach is up 6.4% percent over the previous year to $3.86 million.” While implementing new security measures and payment technology can be costly to update and maintain, taking steps to be more secure can prevent a significant financial and reputational burden in the future.
- Multiple data uses weaken security: Big data can be a valuable asset for B2B companies. However, companies face the challenge of getting the most out of consumer data while protecting sensitive information. Consumer data is collected not only to process a transaction, but also to attain Level 2 and Level 3 interchange qualifications for B2B payments, while helping companies better understand consumer behavior. As a result, consumer data is spread across various platforms, databases and applications. While analyzing and applying this data can help companies provide a better customer experience, storing the data on multiple platforms provides more entry points and opportunities for criminals to gain unauthorized access to sensitive information.
- Innovation carries risk: B2B companies are eager to be at the forefront of implementing the newest programs and technologies, but these new innovations may also pose risks to data. The task of protecting consumer data can seem daunting, but just as data breaches are rising in sophistication, so are methods to reduce risk and deter future data compromises.
Many credit card processors and card networks are committed to implementing tokenization as a way to prevent future costly data breaches. The use of tokenization can enable many systems that handle customer data to be eliminated from the scope of Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI-DSS) compliance, saving merchants’ time, effort and scarce resources. However, the chosen tokenization approach must be compatible with a merchant’s existing payment applications, ERP, business systems and processes, enabling the data to be accessible and beneficial to the business.
Additionally, B2B companies can employ advanced fraud detection technologies on their websites. These technologies can determine not only the location of the purchase but also the device identification and if it’s been used fraudulently in the past.
Recent data breaches have put both large and small companies on high alert. At the same time, innovation brings new risks to data. B2B companies have many options to protect both themselves and their clients as technology develops and transforms payment practices for years to come.