Getting Ready for a restaurant point of sale credit card PCI security audit?
Security rules on credit cards for restaurants
The credit card industry has been coming down hard on thousands of restaurants that have not fully protected diners’ credit card data from potential theft, with Visa, MasterCard and financial institutions that process electronic payment over recent months sending warnings letters and holding seminars. Moves like this aims at forcing restaurants into taking more action when it comes to protecting their diners’ credit card info.
According to companies that process card transactions, there are still tens of thousands of food service establishments that do not comply with the set of security rules of the credit card industry. For as long as a food service establishment takes plastic, they are required to follow a set of security regulations instituted by Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover.
Data recorded by Visa indicates that since January 2005, restaurants made up around 40 percent of incidents in which criminals gained unauthorized access to credit card information — provides the largest percentage of incidents for a merchant category.
Separately, there are reports from a Chicago-based data security auditor, AmbironTrustWave, for merchants that 62% of the security violations it witnessed during the prior 18 months occurred in the restaurant industry.
These violations includes various security lapses such as wireless networks that are poorly guarded — which easily enable thieves to access sensitive information using a laptop from the parking lot — and lax systems that makes it a lot easier for an unethical staff to steal credit card information.
Mostly, consumers have no clue when their credit card info is in danger. Although, not all security breaches succeeds, and most merchants do not acknowledge these incidents unless there’s a significant probability that a major fraud has already been identified or about to take place. Furthermore, credit card issuers usually do not close a customer’s account unless fraud has taken place.
Restaurateurs may have a difficult time with credit card security rules, since its regulations can be very hard for small merchants. The National Restaurant Association trade group says that it hears from restaurant owners who thought they complied with rules, but found out their systems were not functioning properly and were penalized.
Over 0,000, in some cases, is the fine for restaurants that violated credit card industry rules by keeping credit card information. Merchants across all categories .6 million for security violations were fined by Visa in 2006, an increase from the .4 million in fines the previous year.
After recently conducting special security briefings with several hundred restaurants, although they declined to provide a breakdown of merchant types, Visa believes a merchant group needs additional attention.
During the same time, the companies that process credit cards have also turned the heat on restaurants. Credit card companiesthreatened those who do not follow security regulations that they will end their services.
Most restaurants uses software combining such features as tabulating bills, delivering orders to the kitchen and tracking reservations, credit card companies are worried because they cannot force software developers to follow their security rules, so the pressure it passed on to restaurants. In Visa’s web site, they maintain a list of software programs that meet its requirements.
But software makers that even with the best software, restaurants can still be in a lot of trouble if they lack ample password protection or firewalls. Software companies say it is not up to them to let restaurateurs know what they must do to be in compliance with credit card rules.
The author of this article writes for POS-For-Restaurants.com, a VP of Customer Relations with over 20 years experience in restaurant point of sale system, helping restaurant owners nationwide increase their efficiency and bottom-line profits.
You may visit POS-For-Restaurants.com for more information on how our national network of restaurant point of sale experts can help your business achieve greater success in these difficult economic times.
Article from articlesbase.com
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