If Equifax Can Get Hacked, What Does That Mean for Your Business?

When a major financial security company like Equifax falls victim to a security breach, businesses and individuals alike realize a false sense of security.

If the biggest companies can get hacked, what does that mean for the rest of us?

Now, more than ever, PCI compliance and credit security services are an absolute necessity for companies and merchants of all sizes.

Hacking happens, but your company doesn’t have to fall victim if you provide a strong defense against the virtual enemy.

Third-party security experts provide that defense, and put you in control should something like the unthinkable Equifax “cybersecurity incident” ever happen to your business.

How is it even possible for Equifax to get hacked?

This isn’t the first time it’s happened, but this is by far the worse-case scenario for Equifax and every individual whose security has been compromised.

Equifax officials said that earlier this year, there was a security breach in a different division of the company than the one they announced on 7 September 2017.

The investigation is ongoing, but the company reported that the hackers exploited a U.S. website application vulnerability to gain access to files from May – July 2017.

As a result of this security failure, 143 million Americans and an estimated 100,000 Canadians are now at a serious risk of their confidential information — addresses, credit card numbers, social insurance numbers, and U.S. Social Security numbers — being exposed and used fraudulently.

The bottom line is, this security failure is a result of a vulnerability on the part of Equifax. Evidently, security professionals at the U.S.’s largest consumer credit reporting agency were not doing the best job they could to protect consumer data.

What does this mean for merchants and cybersecurity risks?

The first step in maintaining security as a merchant is ensuring your business is PCI compliant with the latest security best practices.

PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliance is a set of standards designed by the PCI Security Standards Council to ensure all companies that accept, process, store, and transmit credit card information maintain a minimum level of security for this financial and personal data.

However, just because your business is PCI compliant, doesn’t mean it’s operating at the highest level of security standards, either.

In fact, it’s just the minimum. By no means does PCI compliance guarantee all credit card information your company processes is safe and free from hacking.

Even if your company is PCI compliant and meets all the requirements to maintain your customers’ security, you’ve simply take the first step.

The absolute best way to create a stronger defense against hackers is to have third-party security experts monitor and update your company’s security 24/7.

By allowing third-party security experts to monitor, adjust, alert, and update all aspects of your company’s highly-sensitive credit card data and transactions, you put your business in a legally defensible position to help mitigate risk should you ever become the victim of a cybersecurity attack.

How does a third-party security company work to safeguard your merchant account?

The financial security experts at MyWatchmen conduct a detailed analysis of your merchant account and determine your current credit card data security level.

If our analysis shows that your current security level requires additional protection to keep sensitive data optimally safeguarded, we help you create a stronger infrastructure for a more comprehensive system.

Additionally, we alert you of any potential risk areas, connect you with products and services that provide more security, and help you understand potential data breaches.

We also help uncover opportunities for your business to make more money and reveal hidden merchant fees that may be costing your company thousands of dollars.

Finally, we provide technology support and chargeback assistance to help fight chargebacks and minimize revenue losses. MyWatchmen doesn’t sell payment processing; we negotiate on your behalf to help increase your bottom line.

While MyWatchmen can’t prevent a cybersecurity attack, we can ensure that your business is absolutely prepared if that ever happens. Additionally, if you ever incur PCI penalties on our watch, we pay the fines for you.

What makes us qualified to protect merchant data?

More than 10 years ago, we discovered alarming inconsistencies, patterns, and careless practices in the ever-changing payment industry.

We put our expertise to work and created a “payment industry powerhouse.”

We partner with you, negotiate on your behalf, and educate you regarding the latest security updates, practices, and PCI compliance policies. In short, we work with you to ensure your payment platform securely stores credit card data.

The Equifax cybersecurity incident is nightmare scenario; however, such a public and widespread security breach may hopefully bring merchant data security to the forefront of the minds of business owners and individuals alike.

We all need to pay attention to the potential risk of hackers so we can be proactive, prepared, and one step ahead of the game.

For more information about partnering with MyWatchmen, contact us today. If you don’t increase your bottom line, you pay nothing for MyWatchmen services.

It’s that easy and beneficial to have our security experts on your side.

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