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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Why You Need A Password Manager

By Thomas Greenman | Jul 19, 2018 7:41:22 AM

If you are like most folks, you have a handful of passwords that you reuse for all your online accounts. You may change a number or two when it’s expired, for example: Password1 gets changed to Password2, and so on. It’s very likely that some family and friends know some of your passwords too, like your WIFI and Netflix password. In a world full of hackers and breaches, you really are making their job all too easy.

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Understanding the TLS Issue & Why Your Credit Cards May Stop Working!

By Lynn Skurla Perkins | Apr 30, 2018 12:00:00 AM

Yes, credit cards may stop working on your point of sale system this summer!  We are providing you with more information on this important issue - please take a moment to read.

First some definitions and background on this topic:

TLS: Transport Layer Security (TLS) is a cryptographic protocol used to establish a secure communications channel between two systems.

SSL: Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This link ensures that all data passed between the web server and browser remain private.

On Feb. 13, 2015, the PCI Security Standards Council announced that SSL, a protocol designed to ensure that data provided between a web server and a web browser, such as credit card information, remains secure - is no longer an acceptable way to provide strong cryptography, due to a number of known fundamental vulnerabilities. The deadline is June 30, 2018. 

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PCI Council Announces Changes to Qualified Integrators & Resellers Program

By Lynn Skurla Perkins | Mar 25, 2018 7:18:11 PM

In March, the PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) announced new changes to the PCI Qualified Integrators and Resellers (QIR) Program in response to industry feedback and data breach report findings. The program changes are designed to increase the number of QIRs and equip them to help merchants reduce risk by mitigating the leading causes of payment data breaches. 

The PCI SSC QIR program offers specialized data security training and certification to individuals that install, configure and/or support payment systems. PCI SSC maintains a listing of PCI QIRs on its website for merchants to use in identifying and selecting trusted partners. Since the program was established in 2012, breach reports highlight that smaller merchants are increasingly under attack, and that the majority of merchant payment data breaches could be prevented by addressing three critical issues: insecure remote access, weak password practices and outdated and unpatched software.

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Take 5 Minutes to Read About PCI & Security - It Could Save Your Business

By Lynn Skurla Perkins | Feb 20, 2018 7:16:00 AM

Data Breaches, ID Theft, Credit Card Breaches - we hear this all the time in the news.  And this is the last thing you as an owner or manager want to experience for your business!

Please take time to read this!  It could save your business!

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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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