18 Nov Vulnerabilities of Smartphone Payment Systems & How to Avoid Them
If the past year has taught the national business community anything about payment security it has taught us that the need for vigilance and constant scrutiny is greater than ever. We’ve seen retail giants like Home Depot and Target fall victim to huge security breaches in 2014. We’ve also seen the release of great new technologies like near field communication smartphone payment systems.
While we are eager to begin offering support for emerging technologies to our clients along the Front Range in Colorado, we are also conscious of the vulnerabilities that technology may carry with it. Thankfully, you don’t have to be a master coder to begin protecting your business and your digital wallet from vulnerabilities in smartphone payment systems. Here are a few common sense tips for keeping you and your business safe.
Keep your Hardware Drivers and Software Up to Date
This is now especially important for smartphone users. Companies that use NFC card readers will also have to keep their eyes open for updates. As fast as hackers can work to exploit vulnerabilities in technology, companies like Google and Apple are trying to work faster. Check once a week to see if there are any updates that need to be made. Many, if not most software can now be set to update automatically which makes the process much easier and eliminates the risk that you’ll install an ‘update’ from an illegitimate source.
Stay connected to payment system news in case an urgent update becomes necessary. It may be dry stuff, but it’s important to check in from time to time with industry news feeds that discuss credit card processing and merchant services. If a major update starts making headlines, make sure your business isn’t the last one to get it installed.
Don’t Overlook Human Factors
No matter how advanced payment systems become, human factors will always be an area of vulnerability. The first line of defense for protecting a company credit card service is common sense. Be extremely careful when opening attachments to emails from people or companies that you don’t know, especially on work computers. Perform regular virus and malware checks on company and personal computers where credit card processing information may be stored. Make sure your staff knows to keep an eye out for any strange behaviors or patterns that may suggest a security issue. Most importantly, use a clear, transparent credit card processing service that lets you easily review your transaction history.
Keep Calm and Carry On
Remember, while there may be some serious vulnerabilities to NFC smartphone processing services they are still largely speculative. By contrast, the dangers to traditional credit cards are definitive, well documented, and quite prevalent. As we’ve mentioned in previous posts, the promise of smartphone payments and NFC cards far outweigh the potential risks. One of the best things that companies can do to protect themselves against such risks is keep informed and begin building a more comprehensive strategy for credit card security in the year ahead.
If you or your company along the Front Range (or nationally) need help sorting these issues out, AdvoCharge is here to help. We are constantly striving to make credit card processing more secure and more transparent for our clients.