Unprepared merchants are easy targets for hackers. It’s sad but true.
Every year, restaurants process billions of dollars in credit and debit card transactions, making them a prime target for online criminals. The National Restaurant Association predicts that this problem will get worse before it gets better, too.
Hackers don’t care about what kind of business you run, or how good of a person you are. All they want is your money and your data. And customers are becoming increasingly wary of data breaches.
Encryption offers restaurants a simple way to protect their business and their customers, but too many business owners don’t take the time to research it. I know it’s easy to get lost in the day-to-day struggle of running a business, but without encrypting your data, your business is becoming increasingly vulnerable to cyberattacks.
Here are three ways that encryption can help secure your business, and in turn, help you provide a safe environment for your customers.
- Scrambled data is safer data
This is the most basic element of encryption that many business owners overlook. Encryption works by taking the data transferred through your POS system every time a customer swipes their debit or credit card and re-coding it into a complex key that is nearly impossible for a hacker to figure out. Even if a hacker is able to swipe all of your encrypted data, they won’t be able to make use of it because they have no way of knowing what that key truly represents.
- Encryption can help prevent credit card fraud
In our increasingly technological world, protecting your business and your consumers from fraud is imperative. You may have heard of criminals replacing ATM machine card readers with skimmers that retrieve credit card information. Well, some of those criminals may be using the same technology on your customers. Those individuals may even be on your payroll. So how can you stop this virus from spreading out of control? One way of protecting your customers is to require your service staff to use table-side payment technology. There are quite a few of these technologies that will encrypt your consumers’ data once their card is swiped. As previously noted, scrambling this data makes it inherently safer to store.
- Strike a balance between safe and vulnerable data
Big Data is revolutionizing the restaurant industry before our very eyes. It offers business owners a chance to gain insights to their business that former generations never could have dreamed up. But, with all of that data at their fingertips, business owners need to be vigilant in protecting it. Otherwise, it’s worth as much as sand dollar in a casino. By encrypting your data, your business can still rely on it to make those useful insights without sacrificing the safety of your customers to do it.