The payments industry is having a problem maintaining even the most basic of protocols. Members of the Payment Card Industry (PCI) have a lot of work to do say security experts. It has become apparent that most are finding it difficult to comply with PCI data security standards. Throughout America many companies are coasting on the basics, while criminals are becoming more and more sophisticated.
Simple security measures, such as changing default passwords, are not being followed by companies that house a customer’s most sensitive information. At the “In Digital We Trust” conference on March 26, research was presented that showed the state of information security in the U.S. The event was sponsored by Bloomberg Government and Visa Inc. Verizon and Trustwave pointed to bad password security as a major concern, and also noted that merchants and payment processors should see the federal government as an ally in the effort to protect consumer privacy. Too often when a security breach occurs, the breached company gives information to the federal government, but is unable to get anything in return as it is labelled classified. This is a problem, as it creates a relationship of distrust, secrecy and promotes poor communication behaviors.
The federal government, merchants, nor customers can afford to not be in sync with each other, as cybercrime has grown into international sophisticated organizations. From Eastern Europe to South America, organizations are attacking individual companies who suffer in isolation. It is time, conference speakers said, for there to be a cohesive “Team America” to thwart cybercrime.
The conference encouraged the federal government to create plans that emphasize teamwork and data sharing. Referencing the $172 million-plus that Target had to spend on their last data breach, speakers note that it’s best to spend that type of money on preventative security measures. President Obama’s new initiative to establish data sharing between the federal government and private companies may be a key component in the cyber-wars ahead.
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