Data Breach Coverage Matters More Than You May Know


Merchants and all other parties involved in electronic transactions have to take every precaution to protect all entities from identity theft and fraud resulting from payment security breaches. If you accept credit card payments, the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) should be adhered to as your first line of defense for protection.

PCI DSS requirements are designed to ensure that all companies that process, store or transmit credit card information maintain a secure environment to protect cardholder data. Your customers trust that you will keep their personal sensitive data secure. Adherence to these standards is in their best interest as well as your own. Security breaches can result in devastating financial consequences to businesses. Penalties may include fines of thousands or even millions of dollars. In fact, Target recently announced it has entered into a Settlement Agreement with MasterCard International Incorporated relative to the data breach that Target experienced during the fourth quarter of 2013. A recent financial filing discloses the corporation incurred $252 million of breach-related expenses from this hack resulting in up to 40 million accounts being breached.

The retailer has agreed to pay MasterCard-issuing banks as much as $19 million to reimburse for related losses. The settlement covers banks’ costs when they reissued credit and debit cards after the breach, as well as fraudulent charges on those cards. Minneapolis-based Target Corp. also settled a class-action lawsuit with individual cardholders for $10 million in March.

The financial fallout following a data breach is not limited to fines and related costs. Many institutions and smaller retailers never recover from data breaches — not only due to the expense — but also due to irreparable damage to the brand’s reputation and lost business.

To help merchants meet the expenses resulting from a suspected or actual breach of payment card data TransFirst® offers a unique Data Breach Security Program. It offers peace of mind to merchants during an extremely vulnerable time.

An American Banker online article reported on two studies that attempt to tally the cost of data breaches — one from the American Bankers Association and another from Kaspersky Lab. In the article, Ross Hogan, global head of fraud prevention at Kaspersky Lab said, “There are so many ancillary impacts to a fraud loss that are crippling to an organization. Some of those less-spoken-of impacts are more emotional and human — people get fired over things like this, people lose sleep over things like this and organizations, from a morale perspective, sometimes never recover.”

PCI compliance focuses on security for the storage, transmission and processing of cardholder data. TransFirst encourages firm adherence to Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) as the first line of defense merchants have to help prevent fraud shield themselves, their businesses and their customers from data breaches.

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