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The Green Sheet Online Edition

July 09, 2012 • Issue 12:07:01

Research Rundown

Data security best practices for SMBs

The Top 5 Security Best Practices for Small Merchants, a white paper published by payment security and compliance solutions provider ControlScan, is available free to small and midsize businesses (SMBs) and the acquirers who serve them. The purpose of the paper is to help SMBs become less likely targets for data thieves. The document provides detailed information on best practices that can be implemented easily and cost-effectively, the company said.

"Small merchants represent the path of least resistance to data thieves," said Steve Robb, ControlScan Vice President of Products and Services. "The Top 5 Security Best Practices white paper arms these merchants with a stronger awareness, as well as proven, easy-to-implement tactics for protecting their business."

Recommended tactics include:

  • Understand sensitive data, where it is and who is responsible for its protection.
  • Avoid storing sensitive data; if required to do so, secure it.
  • Protect perimeters with firewalls.
  • Fortify interiors with people, procedures and technology.
  • Get to know service providers and their level of PCI compliance.

In addition, the paper cites several recent studies that reinforce the importance of Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard compliance and security. According to the paper, even the smallest data breach can have a business-ending result for the average merchant.

"This is a very serious issue, and we approached it with that mindset," Robb said. "Our significant experience working with Level 4 merchants and their acquiring banks helped us make this white paper a solid representation of the top five data security best practices small merchants can put in place to significantly reduce their risk of a breach."

For a complimentary copy of the white paper, visit

Debit cards to shine

The 14th edition of quarterly U.S. economic data released jointly by the Electronic Transactions Association and The Strawhecker Group shows payments in the first quarter of 2012 continued to outpace the general economy. Debit cards in paticular did well.

 Major card brand debit card changes from Q1 2011 to Q1 2012

Source: Electronic Transactions Association and The Strawhecker Group, US Economic Indicators Q1 2012 Report

Decline of traditional retail channel

Findings from the Retail Systems Research LLC Omni-Channel 2012: Cross-Channel Comes of Age benchmark report suggest - for the first time in six annual RSR studies - that more merchants are operating online/e-commerce channels than traditional stores: 92 percent versus 89 percent of respondents, respectively. The study analyzes key drivers, opportunities and organizational constraints shaping cross-channel retail strategies and contains baseline recommendations for merchants.

E-commerce cost models for SMBs

Forrester Research Inc.'s SMB eCommerce Solutions 2012 provides detailed charts on e-commerce solutions available to SMBs. It covers cost models on 29 platforms in four categories: on-premises licensed software, hosted or managed, software-as-a-service, and full-service platforms. Forrester predicts future e-commerce solutions will emphasize full-service offerings and include increased usage of open-source solutions and more web-based services.

Global mobile payments forecast

Mobile Payment Market, Users World-wide & Countries Forecast to 2014, a report from MarketResearch.com, predicts mobile payments will exceed $500 billion globally by 2014, with the United States topping $200 billion by 2015. The research further indicates North America and Asia will account for over 60 percent of the mobile payments market and more than 80 percent of mobile payment users.

end of article

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