In the year 480 BC, the Battle of Thermopylae took place where 7000 Spartans battled more than 100,000 Persians. To meet the overwhelming 10 to 1 disadvantage, General Themistocles proposed that the Greeks block the advance of the Persian army at the narrow pass of Thermopylae. By forcing the Persians to attack through a very narrow point, the vastly outnumbered Greeks were able to hold off the Persians for over seven days. Unfortunately, for the Greeks, they were betrayed by a local who guided the Persians through a small path around the Greeks, effectively allowing the invaders to breach the incredibly strong defense.
Just like the Spartans, you too are in a battle against an overwhelming force – hackers who want your customers’ credit card data. Recently, the problem has become even more acute. As reported last month in Forbes Online, organized internet criminals are shifting focus away from banking and are now concentrating their efforts on retailers. Indeed, the list of victims seems to grow by the day.
Thirty-three percent say they would stop shopping at a breached retailer for at least three months as a matter of caution.
As recently as August 18th, it was reported that the 350+ Eddie Bauer™ chain of stores was found infected with credit card capturing Malware. This is very troubling for Eddie Bauer since a 2016 report, issued by KPMG, stated that “Thirty-three percent of customers say they would stop shopping at a breached retailer for at least three months, as a matter of caution,” and “Consumers are clearly demanding that their information be protected and they’re going to let their wallets do the talking.”
Could you afford to lose a third of your customers for three months?
The fact is, similar to the Spartan’s, (and more like Eddie Bauer) no matter what type of defense you put up to protect your network security, eventually a dedicated and organized criminal attack will find a way in and breach your security wall. The best course of action is to be prepared for the breach, and just like General Themistocles, you have options.
The best course of action is to be prepared for the breach.
In my opinion, your best option for protecting your customers credit card data is to not only put up a very secure network, but as important, is to deploy P2Pe (point to point encryption). P2Pe is not foolproof, nothing ever is. However, if the criminals breach your network security, they still have to contend with encrypted cardholder data, which should make it useless to them.
The bad news is, whether you know it or not, you’re already under attack, and you have a long-term war ahead. The good news is, P2Pe is a great tool that many retail executives fail to deploy. I strongly recommend that you deploy P2Pe today. Disappoint those who manage to break through your retail security defenses only to find useless, encrypted cardholder data. Take time today to make P2Pe your highest priority, and don’t rest until you’ve confirmed that each of your POS and Self Checkout terminals have P2Pe up and fully working.