Credit card security breaches are everywhere in the news. It seems that each week, a new retailer or service business falls prey to customer information data theft.
Sometimes it's due to poor data base design security or even lax access to passwords and permissions (yes, I have worked for companies where the admin user name was ADMIN and the password was PASSWORD!) And those kinds of issues get a lot of press.
But did you know that your customer facing employees could be one of your biggest risk points when it comes to customer information safety? The people who hold a shopper's credit card in their hand, or call in a store credit card application. The ones taking orders over the phone or helping via live chat. Those individuals represent hundreds (or thousands) of possible points of data security compromise every day.
It might be a case of a dishonest employees who is there for the purpose of stealing and selling or using customer data. That's a case for law enforcement. But more often than not, the breeches happen as a result of accidents or mistakes by employees when handling customer financial or identity information. And that is something you as a business owner or manager can address with training and better business practices. Not convinced? Here are some some examples I've seen or heard about just in the past few months:
The list could go on and on, but the problem is clear. Front end associates can and do put your business reputation and your customer's private financial and identity data at risk. But there is one answer that works for all of these examples and the dozens of others we hear about. Training. The employees I mentioned above aren't trying compromise data security. They're making mistakes. And training is the single most effective way to minimize costly employee mistakes.
And now it's your turn
Think about your business as it exists right now. How much training do your employees receive on data security awareness? Are there procedures in place to protect customer data at all levels, and are new employees made aware of what these standards are?
Do you conduct security audits to test how effective your policies are, and well they're followed? Are existing employees provided with additional training as issues are discovered or as policy or technology changes? If you surveyed your employees today, how many of them would be aware of the risks to customer information security which exist as a part of their day-to-day responsibilities?
The time to address weak points in your organization's data security policies isn't after a breach occurs. A new emphasis on the employee's role in information safety now could very well keep your company out of the headlines some day in the future.
We're sorry this resource is no longer available, we've redirected you to our Resource center.