By Steven Velasquez, Senior Vice President and Head of Partner Business Development for Elavon, Inc.
The rise of global eCommerce due to pandemic-related consumer behavior, disruptions to the supply chain, and the current climate of geopolitical turmoil have converged to create a perfect storm for fraudsters and cybersecurity attacks. Whether ransomware or physical skimming devices, we arguably find ourselves at the tipping point of protecting critical infrastructures, including the payments industry.
In fact, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) recently issued a ‘Shields Up’ warning on increased malicious cyber activity against the U.S., its allies, and partners due to imposed financial sanctions against Russia.
Many organizations are deploying a Zero Trust security strategy, which operates under the premise ‘never trust, always verify,’ eliminating implicit trust and continuously validating every stage of digital interaction. The major factors driving the adoption include the growing frequency of target-based cyberattacks and increasing regulations for data protection and information security. A Zero Trust strategy can cover many form factors including cloud-based applications, devices, and VPNs.
With this in mind, empowering your merchants to take a layered security approach to protect cardholder data is paramount to breach prevention. Safeguarding payment data can mitigate the risk of financial loss, reputational damage, customer attrition, and legal action due to a data breach. The average cost of a data breach - $4.24 Million – increased 10 percent from 2020 to 2021 with personally identifiable information (PII) the most common information lost, averaging $180 per record. 
There’s no ‘one size fits all’ solution to help your merchants mitigate fraud risk. Whether it’s online payments or card-present transactions, a layered approach that includes encryption, tokenization, multi-factor authentication, and other technologies provides a holistic strategy that protects your merchants’ cardholder data throughout the transaction lifecycle. To this end, look for a end-to-end solution that helps your merchants protect sensitive card payment information with triple layers – EMV, encryption, tokenization – that authenticate the payment card and make payment data useless to fraudsters.
Your merchants can’t afford to trust their customers’ card data or payment processing to just anyone. Backed by the strength and stability of U.S. Bank, we can help your merchants accept and authenticate transactions securely, no matter the payment environment. Commerce SDK accelerates and simplifies the process of implementing secure payment solutions to get your merchants up and running quickly. Our Safe-T™ suite of solutions provide your merchants with the tools, so they can mitigate the risk of data breaches and the related consequences. For more information, reach out to us here or give us a call at: 844.983.0994*.
 2021 IBM Cost of a Data Breach Report
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