It is safe to say that today’s urgent need for security in every aspect of business is both unprecedented and overwhelming. The ubiquitous Internet opens doors for both commercial gain and digital theft. For many merchants, staying ahead of competitors offers more than enough challenge. However, keeping up with corporate cybersecurity details is beyond their internal capacity, and by not addressing that fact, they risk (or suffer) losses due to hacking, phishing, and other nefarious digital activity. If it’s time to engage a corporate digital security provider, thoughtful evaluation of what is needed and the options available is a good start to a positive and safe outcome.
Outsourcing Trumps In-house
Outsourcing the critical function of enterprise security to a qualified data security service provider is very often both the best and most cost-effective response to the problem. Governments the world over have escalated their oversight of digital financial transactions and implemented intricate webs of reporting rules and regulations for companies to follow. Digital security enterprises have risen in response to those regulations and offer the technology and expertise to identify, make safe, and keep safe both corporate and consumer data irrespective of jurisdiction. These services are almost always less expensive than those developed in-house, and the services and systems offered can be implemented at a much quicker pace.
Three Critical Standards
Companies seeking outsourced cyber security support should look for companies that are able to implement and administer these “best practice” digital security measures:
The International Payment Card Industry (PCI) Security Standards Council develops standards to ensure the safety of cardholder data for hundreds of millions of people. “Payment cards” are all cards that are used by merchants, vendors, software developers and financial institutions to facilitate financial transactions. The PCI Council established Data Security Standards (DSS) for cards that are issued within the major card schemes (American Express, Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and JCB). The DSS are intended to increase card security and reduce credit card fraud.
SSAE 16 Compliance
The name Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagement 16 (SSAE) is sufficiently daunting to signify the need for professional management of its requirements. Simply put, SSAE 16 details the rules for accurate reporting of the security and financial systems used by companies and their outsourced providers to make and keep their data secure. Properly managed, these reports offer critical insights into risk management systems, vendor programs and regulatory oversight, while maintaining the highest levels of security for all corporate stakeholders and customers.
Encryption and Tokenization
Both of these separate and distinct processes protect information, and they are used in different ways, depending on the entity and the volume of data being accessed. Often, the size and complexity of the data determines which process is optimal:
- Encryption: Encrypted data has been transformed from its original form into an indistinguishable form. Recovering the original form is only done through use of a passcode. Authorized users with the passcode can access the original data.
- Tokenization: Tokenizing replaces original data with a “token,” a surrogate value that represents the original data. The token itself has no value. Original, sensitive data remains stored securely and is accessed by its holder after the transaction closes and the data is no longer in transit.
Mobility Makes Security More Imperative
Thousands of enterprises have embraced the services of expert and certified security consultants to maintain the safety of their proprietary corporate data, and their customers’ personal and financial data. Their wisdom in doing so is especially significant, considering the complexity of today’s global digital security landscape, which has been made more complex by the addition of billions of mobile devices. By outsourcing this critical function, these companies are better able to allocate corporate resources to their primary industry and can avoid potential disasters caused by trying to create a comprehensive in-house security strategy.