by Dan Keane, TDM, (502) 238-1085 or [email protected]

When was the last time you walked into a store that did not accept credit cards? I imagine it has been quite a few years for most of us, but stores like this definitely still exist. Whenever I run into one – invariably a mom-and-pop-shop of sorts – I feel like I have stepped into a time warp. Usually my audible response to someone telling me I cannot use my credit card goes something like, “What is this, 1870? Do you accept gold doubloons? Can I barter a cow, perhaps?”

While this annoyance has become a rarity with more business owners coming into the 21st century by adopting credit cards as a form of payment, it is still quite common to run into the second cousin of this issue – stores that accept credit cards but do so without chip reader technology.

Chip reader technology is used by many retailers to provide an added level of security to customers. If you are a business owner who has not taken this extra step, I would like to thank you for so cordially inviting hackers into my bank account.

Recently, my company, TDM, started looking for ways to help combat the credit card security issue, and our research led us to Netsurion. Netsurion is a company that specializes in payment card industry (PCI) compliance, the proprietary security standard set forth by major credit card companies including, but not limited to, Visa, MasterCard and American Express.

Netsurion thrives on giving its customers the tools to become PCI compliant quickly and cost effectively. Netsurion has, in fact, become a popular vendor to America’s most prominent fast food restaurant chains for exactly these reasons.

One of the tools available to Netsurion’s client base is the Netsurion PCI compliance checklist. The checklist walks Netsurion’s newest customers through questions designed to test precisely how close to full PCI compliance their organization was before Netsurion’s arrival. My Netsurion representative told me this past week that a prospective client who can answer yes to each of their questions will be “about 80 percent” of the way to full PCI compliance.

Ask yourself for a minute, do you believe your business is PCI compliant? Do you currently have any way of knowing if your business is PCI compliant? Were you even aware of PCI compliance standards before this article? If you answered no to any of these questions, your business is ripe for a security breach.

Unfortunately, due to human negligence, 100 percent security is an unachievable standard. For example, you can have the most expensive and secure defense system ever invented, but if your password is “P-A-S-S-W-O-R-D”, you may as well leave a blinking “Open for Hacking” sign on your front door. Similarly, once upon a time, I worked for a store that kept vital customer information overnight inside a random refrigerator bucket. As we all know, there is very little someone can do to combat outright stupidity and gross negligence. For everything else, you have Netsurion to fall back on.

Another benefit of working with Netsurion is the company bundles a few extra services into their PCI compliance package free of charge, which generally costs quite a bit when purchased individually. Netsurion’s PCI compliance bundle includes each of the following …

  • Network firewall management
  • PCI compliance validation
  • Enhanced security features
  • Secure wireless access

Furthermore – and arguably the best part about securing your business through Netsurion’s PCI compliance bundle – Netsurion puts its money where its mouth is. Netsurion, via its “$100K TrustVault Guarantee,” will insure your proprietary information for up to $100,000. While it would be nice to live in a world where insurance was unnecessary, the bad guys are always a step or two ahead of the good guys in the cybersecurity field. With Netsurion, however, at least if the bad guys do find a way to compromise your customers’ data, you can sleep soundly at night knowing your business is financially covered for a lot of potential damage.

If you would like to learn more about Netsurion, or any of TDM’s many other technology offerings, please send an email to [email protected]. I, or one of the many seasoned sales professionals here at TDM, will be happy to assist your organization with any technology projects you may think of tackling in the near future.

On a final note, make sure to keep an eye out for the upcoming TDM Tech Talk Tuesday Anthology e-book for our Insider Louisville readers, which will soon be available to download. The anthology will have every TDM Tech Talk Tuesday article in our archive, a bit of fun new material, and a few extra goodies for those loyal TDM Tech Talk Tuesday fans out there. Please feel free to download and distribute it to anyone you think may benefit from TDM Tech Talk Tuesday’s irreverently wacky technology insights.

With that, let me bid you a good day, and leave you with a friendly reminder to upgrade your credit card machines. It is 2017 after all, people, not 1870. I rarely carry cash, let alone the gold doubloons you are apparently most interested in. Cow bartering, on the other hand … we might be able to work something out. Let’s talk again next week.

TDM is a national master agent and technology consulting firm located in PeWee Valley that serves the entire United States of America. TDM's mission is to be our customers' most valued partner in providing high quality, tailored communications solutions at the most competitive price.