What Every Millennial Entrepreneur Should Know About Customer Security


Whether you like it or not, millennials are becoming more and more engaged in the business world. Yesterday, these young entrepreneurs could only dream about starting their own businesses while napping on their college desks. Today, most millennials have achieved some sort of financial independence, having worked or started working in someone else’s firm and having the means to start a business of their own. However, that is easier said than done. It’s easy to get carried away by dreams of grandeur and entrepreneurship. The hard part is actually doing the research necessary for properly launching a business without sacrificing any essential aspects, or in this case, customer security. So, let’s not waste any more time and get straight down to business.

Who Exactly Are Millennials?

These young entrepreneurs were born somewhere between the early 1980s to mid-1990s. Growing up side by side with the technological advances and all the magical innovations of the digital world has certainly brushed on these brave entrepreneurs. Millennials are extra creative and innovative, always looking for new designs and solutions on improving theirs and other people’s lives. As a result, this makes them excellent candidates for breaking into the business world. Social media and the internet have taught them the importance of communication and image which is a vital part of businesses today. Yet, their biggest strength might also be their biggest undoing. Their open-mindedness and creativity makes them somewhat too liberal, thus making it harder for them to conform to rules and regulations at all times. This is why adapting and finding ways to integrate these skills today will see them becoming entrepreneurs of tomorrow.

Why Is Customer Security So Important?

Aside from the obvious downside of enraged clients filing lawsuits because their sensitive credit card data has been exposed, or worse stolen, customer security is important for maintaining a healthy, and profitable, relationship with your customers. Not adhering to these safety policies could result in a serious security breach, which would only lose the customers’ trust in your business and see you paying fines and penalties for failing to secure your business properly. Thus, even more money will be lost; with the loss of clientele, there will be a drop-off in sales, which could end in you going out of business fairly quickly. So, what is the solution to all this? Well, compliance with PCI DSS is a great place to start.

What is PCI DSS Compliance?

Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) accredit the use of security standards that safeguard cardholder data from being abused or stolen during a credit card transaction. Complying with these standards ensures that your customers’ credit card data is safe from any kind of malpractice. PCI DSS was conceived in the time when the internet was becoming a thing and when the popularity of online shopping was spiking. Much like the millennial generation, it was forged by the use of internet and it evolved during the years to adapt to new threats that exploit vulnerabilities of credit card transactions. In 2004, it reached maturity when five big credit card companies (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover and JCB) created the compliance program for merchants to follow.

How Does PCI DSS Compliance Work?

The compliance is checked annually and it applies to all businesses that accept, transmit or store any kind of credit card payment from its customers. The fees for compliance range from £60 per year to £50,000+ per year depending on which of the four different levels (based on the volume of transactions achieved in the previous year) of compliance your business fits in to. In order to fully comply with this security program, there are requirements that need to be met. These requirements should look familiar to millennials as they share some similarities with how they approach internet security.

PCI DSS Compliance Requirements

First of all, it’s important to maintain a strong firewall configuration to protect cardholder data. Likewise, a strong password is also required in place of the one supplied by default. Protection of cardholder data by either encrypting it or not storing it altogether is mandatory, especially across open public networks. Using and regularly updating antivirus software and maintaining secure systems and applications is nothing out of the ordinary for the millennial generation. Assigning a unique ID to each person with computer access and restricting the access of cardholder data both physically and by business need-to-know basis is again something millennials are well versed in because of their time spent on the internet. Just look at cardholder data as your social media profile, you wouldn’t want anyone going anywhere near it, right? Next, tracking and monitoring access to network resources and cardholder data as well as testing security systems regularly will ensure no potential data breaches occur. And, finally, there needs to be a formal information security policy which all must adhere to.

In conclusion, millennials are extremely crafty and can easily adapt to any and all situations. Complying with customer security standards should not be an exception, as it plays a crucial part in every successful business venture.

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