The daily challenges of a franchisee or store owner
Being a franchisee/store owner definitely has its benefits: You get to be your own boss, set your own hours and control how you want your business to run. However, it also means that you are in charge of running your entire business and all the responsibilities that entails. It can be complicated to manage your franchise when your franchisor does not provide thorough directions and complete details, or when you get mixed messages from your vendors or processors.
One of the responsibilities that weigh heavily on the average store owner is PCI compliance. PCI compliance can be confusing and very overwhelming, especially when you have to tackle it alone and without any technology expertise. The fact is, you should be concerned about data breaches and need to be concerned about PCI compliance. Network security and employee training should now be listed high on every merchant’s PCI compliance to-do list. PCI compliance is not optional, and in the long run the banks, vendors and owners will have peace-of-mind knowing they made PCI compliance a priority.
Is being non-compliant worth the risk?
How much value do you put on your business? In 2010 there were 761 documented card breaches. In 2011 that number doubled and now independent studies have labeled 2012 as “The Year of the Breach”. Do you think it is worth risking your business as breach incidents are rapidly increasing? If you still are not convinced of the risk you are at, keep in mind these statistics:
Over 56% of breaches occur in the retail and hospitality industries.
In over 57% of the breaches documented in 2011, the world’s hackers targeted smaller companies with 11-100 employees.
Over 60% of small business owners go out of business within 6 months of a breach.
Over 40% of restaurant transactions are done with credit cards.
The average cost of a full breach is $188,242.00.
The growing risk of credit card breaches also increases the challenges associated with keeping your business safe and secure. Securing your network is necessary to protecting your business, your customers and yourself. Managed security service providers like SecureConnect offer comprehensive packages that help merchants to reach compliancy and achieve a secure network environment.
The best steps for preventing a data breach
Getting educated on where the threats are coming from. Threats are everywhere and they come in all different shapes and sizes. Your external threats include hackers, worms, viruses, malware, rogue wireless devices, skimmers, etc. Your internal threats include things like employee theft (i.e., skimmers, taking pictures of credit cards with cell phones, etc.), bad guys posing as contractors and gain access to sensitive areas of your back office, keeping your employees educated on proper security best practices for handling credit cards, and all the other policies and procedures of your day-to-day business operations.
Provide your business with proper network security. Find a technology partner. Find a managed security services provider (MSSP) that can help provide around-the-clock monitoring and network security services. Owners need to focus their attention on operations and their customers. Let the security experts handle the constant network monitoring, network scanning and all the time consuming technical requirements.
Educate yourself on PCI compliance. Understand what it takes to become PCI compliant. Being unaware of what is required you will not keep you from getting fined by your bank or from getting hacked and losing your business. The more you understand about PCI compliance, the easier it will be to be compliant and to keep your business secure.