Payments Need Safe Holiday Travels, Too!

As you may have seen in last week’s newsletter, we mentioned that in addition to the holiday revelry, and holiday sales, your business is enjoying, you’ll also want to be careful of a potential uptick in fraud and hackery in your business’ databases and Point-of-Sale devices.

This comes, of course, with the spike in electronic sales that accompany all the busy holiday shopping. And if we needed more specific reminders to be careful about e-security, the news is once again dominated by high-level hacks: Sony Pictures, and the release of employee Social Security numbers, scripts, whole films, and embarrassing emails about movie stars,  Beyond socially incriminating emails, however, Bloomberg reports that “hackers with Wall Street savvy” are stealing actual Merger & Acquisition information from large corporations.

And closer to home, in terms of Point of Sale security, the women’s clothing chain Bebe is reporting a breach made during a two-week period in November, which may have scooped up customer card numbers, authorization codes, and expiration dates.

As noted in that previous newsletter, one way that processors help  guard against potential fraud on an ongoing basis — holidays or no –is to limit the number of authorization attempts based on a merchant’s past sales and history. While this can help keep things on an even keel, and guard against fraud, you can also come up against those limits during a busy shopping season like this one.

If you need your authorization limits re-examined or expanded this holiday, be sure to request such an increase from your AVPS Rep, so you can keep up with the busy-ness of your customers!

Other tips include making sure your terminals are SSL compliant, and turning off any terminals not currently in active use.

One  method of attack that hackers have used is to “test” for valid merchant numbers, then seeing if the card numbers in their possession are currently reported as lost, stolen or closed. If not, they will purchase goods (which are usually resold) with that card, for as long as they can.

As a recent article at said, increasingly, online sales are being viewed as more “secure” than brick-and-mortar sales: “These physical retail stores are vulnerable because they still run Windows PC old-school POS software, and operate using outdated guidelines. In stark contrast, most online retailers are deeply committed to offering the highest levels of security, because it is life or death for their business. Most online payment processors go to great length to keep eCommerce experiences safe, using encryption, security keys, SSL certificates, firewalls, passwords, and advanced anti-virus software.”

So whether you’re online or off, whether it’s Chanukkah, Christmas, or Juneteenth — make sure you’re up-to-date and secure, and let AVPS partner you along the way!

See you in a week! Now go download those security updates, and save us some egg nog, too.

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