Payments Need Safe Holiday Travels, Too!


Payments Need Safe Holiday Travels, Too!

‘Tis the Season for Security Vigilance

As you may have seen in last week’s newsletter, we mentioned that in addition to the holiday payment security, 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.

Electronic Sales Bring Elevated Risks

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.

Protecting Your Business

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!

Additional Security Tips

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

Hackers have employed a particular method of attack, wherein they initiate a “test” to validate merchant numbers. Subsequently, they check if the card numbers they possess have been reported as lost, stolen, or closed.

A recent article on highlighted a growing perception that online sales are now considered more “secure” compared to traditional brick-and-mortar sales. Physical retail stores are susceptible due to their continued use of outdated Windows PC-based point-of-sale software and adherence to obsolete security guidelines. Online payment processors take extensive measures to ensure the safety of eCommerce transactions, including encryption, security keys, SSL certificates, firewalls, password protection, and advanced anti-virus software.

Stay Secure, Online or Off

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!

Season’s Greetings

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

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