The secure electronic transactions market, in response to the rising cost of data breaches, is ensuring that debit and credit card details are kept safe by using the Card Industry Data Security Standard.
The 2017 Cost of Data Breach Study: Global Overview by IBM Security and Ponemon Institute revealed that hacks and unintentional data breaches cost South Africa R28.6-million in 2016, rising to R34.2-million in 2017.
in 2017, 43% of data breaches involved malicious or criminal attacks, a six percent increase on 2016.
About 30 million South Africans recently had confidential details breached – ID numbers, addresses, property ownership account numbers – placing them at risk of identity theft by hackers.
The irony is that this breach happened shortly after the June release of the 2017 Cost of Data Breach Study, which argued that South Africa had the highest probability of experiencing a data breach within the next 24 months. The recent breach, like others before it, has made South Africans more than aware and paranoid to the point that we won’t let our credit or debit card out of our sight.
PCI Security Council standards
There, is, however, some good news: when a merchant swipes a card through a system that has been annually verified via the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS), consumers can rest assured that their card details have been securely processed each time they swipe.
The PCI Security Standard Council is a global body and the PCI DSS certification is a protective measure that aims to optimise the security of credit and debit card transactions, protecting cardholders against the misuse and abuse of personal information.
Merchants must comply with PCI Security Council standards that are improved annually, and Altech Card Solutions (ACS) assists merchants with these requirements. This provides security, and peace of mind, for consumers, merchants and point-of-sale providers who process cards so people can buy goods and services.
Although PCI DSS has been around for quite some time, not every merchant plans for these certificates and compliance requirements in their budgets. This is a serious issue, because cyber criminals keep ahead of the curve, and attacks can come from anywhere in the world, thanks to increasing connectivity and mobile technology.
Cyber breaches cost companies and card holders millions of rands each year. Collectively we all have a responsibility to ensure we keep data secure.