Understanding Your Risk - Use Strong Passwords and Change Default Ones

By Lynn Skurla Perkins | Sep 12, 2018 1:11:32 PM

Over the next several months, we will be sharing the PCI Council's advice on How to Protect Your Business With These Security Basics.

This month's topic:  Use Strong Passwords and Change Default Ones

According to  the Council's Guide - About 80% of breaches involved guessed or stolen passwords!

Here is what they recommend:

CHANGE YOUR PASSWORDS REGULARLY. Treat your passwords like a toothbrush. Don’t let anyone else use them and get new ones every three months.

SEEK HELP. Ask your vendors or service providers about default passwords and how to change them. Then do it!

For more information on managing passwords, click here.

MAKE THEM HARD TO GUESS. The most common passwords are “password” and “123456.” Hackers try easily-guessed passwords because they’re used by half of all people. A strong password has seven or more characters and a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols (like !@#$&*). A phrase can also be a strong password (and may be easier to remember), like “B1gMac&frieS.”

To see how fast it takes to crack a password, click here.

DON’T SHARE. Insist on each employee having their own login IDs and passwords – never share!

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Understanding Your Risk - Exploring the PCI Council's Small Merchant Guide

By Lynn Skurla Perkins | Aug 20, 2018 11:52:06 AM

“Small businesses are particularly at risk from the costs and opportunity loss associated with a data breach. Implementing the guidance published by the PCI SSC Small Merchant Taskforce will help a small business improve its data security practices and reduce the risk of data theft.“ - Michael Christodoulides, Barclaycard, PCI Small Merchant Taskforce Co-Chair

Security risks are everywhere these days - everyone up and down the chain is affected.  At Skurla's Point of Sale Solutions, we take security very seriously - and wanted to share some resources from the PCI Security Council.  

But first, here are some frightening data points shared by the PCI Security Council:   

  • 71% of hackers attack businesses with under 100 employees (Verizon 2012)
  • 60% of small businesses experienced a cyber breach (HM Government)
  • $20,752 is the average cost to small businesses due to hacking (NSBA)

If this scares you too, keep reading below to learn more about how to protect your business - 

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Eye Opening Article - Anatomy of a Data Breach

By Lynn Skurla Perkins | Oct 4, 2017 1:49:25 PM

 

Data breach - those two words can (and should) scare the heck out of business owners.  It is everywhere in the news.  I think on some level, people are just throwing their hands up in the air at this point.  However, we don't want our customers to go through this experience - no one wants the CIA showing up at their back door or having their funds frozen because of a suspected breach.

 

To help you understand the impacts, we wanted to share this article by Justin Zeigler, the director of product development and marketing at Datacap Systems.  (Datacap Systems develops integrated payment interfaces for any type Point of Sale Application - so they are very in tune with security for point of sale systems.)  In this article, he discusses:

As a business owner, it is vital to understand the effects of a breach on your business, your customers and your employees.

Read this eye opening article below:

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Card Industry Delays Continue to Slow EMV Chip Card Transition

By Lynn Skurla Perkins | Jan 6, 2017 11:54:58 AM

 I thought we would share the press release from the National Retail Federation (see link below).

They are spot on when they talk about the importance of tokenization and encryption - which is completely different than the EMV issue - tokenization and encryption help prevent card data theft - very serious credit card security issues that should concern every retail store owner.

"While chips make it more difficult to create counterfeit cards from stolen card data, retailers surveyed said they are also working on technologies like tokenization and encryption that make it difficult to steal card data in the first place."

Here at Skurla's POS Solutions,  we are seeing all levels of EMV solution readiness - we work with dozens of vendors - and there is still A LOT of confusion in the marketplace.  Several solutions that claim to be ready, may in fact be only partially ready.  It depends on who you process with, what payment methods you take (for example, many many processors and EMV solutions still don't have debit and EBT certified on an EMV solution yet), what software you use, what hardware you have, etc.

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