If you are active in the payments industry and travel to attend tradeshows or meet with out-of-town clients, there's a chance you've booked a room through the Marriott hotel chain's Starwood reservation system. The fact that hackers gained access to the Starwood database in 2014 was discovered last week, and the personally identifiable information of up to 500 million guests was exposed, hotel representatives stated.
As always with such massive intrusions, more details will emerge. However, the true impact of this slow-burning incident may never be fully quantified. And that makes the topic of this issue's lead article especially pertinent. We've taken a fresh look at the PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC), founded in 2006 to manage the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), which was established in 2004 to perpetuate security best practices across the payments ecosystem.
A Herculean task then ‒ and now. Criminals are relentlessly assaulting our payment systems. With every innovation in technology, come advancements in how to hack it. However, the PCI SSC and the professionals the organization works with worldwide are also relentless in safeguarding our way of life. The Green Sheet was buoyed by the experts interviewed for this article, who are fully committed to improving upon and promulgating the PCI security standards to keep our data safe.
The writers featured in this issue are also committed to industry best practices. We hope you relish their different views on cash advance and surcharge programs, when and how to prepare to sell a merchant portfolio, Arizona's new regulatory "sandbox" program for fintechs, the need to act with urgency and purpose, and why innovation is key to the survival of small and midsize retailers and what you can do to help.
Given the time of year, we've posted news stories with preliminary data on sales online and offline since Black Friday, which traditionally has marked the start of the year-end holiday season. This is in addition to stories on increased fraud attempts over the holidays, merchant concerns about card-not-present fraud, mobile app vulnerability, healthy growth in electronic payments, partnering to bring point-to-point encryption to higher education, and more. We've also included the profiles, inspiration and items about recent milestones celebrated in the payments community.
The Green Sheet Inc. is now a proud affiliate of Bankcard Life, a premier community that provides industry-leading training and resources for payment professionals. Click here for more information.
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