The Importance of Security & Confidentiality in Electronic Payments
The security of any electronic payment is paramount. In a technologically advanced world, anything that travels across networks is potentially at risk. Money is among the most targeted and accessible commodities on the web, particularly since the rise of online banking.
When it comes to data confidentiality, applying excellent security standards and implementing best practice infrastructure is vital. By adhering to relevant industry guidelines such as those dictated by Bacs and the Payments Council, running reliable and secure payments solutions and checking that user access is correctly defined, you will ensure that your payment or collection data is being securely handled and transmitted.
- The logical first step is to assess your infrastructure and payment process, identifying any security issues, ascertaining how best to plug those gaps and implementing the necessary due diligence to monitor these going forward.
- The next step is to eradicate any manual and inefficient processing methods such as cheques or cash from your business. Such archaic methods open themselves up to extensive human error and potential fraud. By implementing secure, automated software, you can control appropriate user rights, notifications, limits, segregation and passwords, ensuring users can't access anything they are not authorised to.
- The third step is to consider encryption for the payment process, which most automated payment solutions provide. Encryption transforms information by using a cipher (an algorithm for performing encryption or decryption) to make it unreadable to anyone other that those possessing a key to decrypt it. This is precisely how PKI (Public Key Infrastructure) technology works, preventing data from being interrupted mid-flow or abused by fraudsters. An additional consideration is network encryption - between export from your accounts or payroll application and import into your payments solution. Lock down any gaps where people might be able to access and edit files.
- It is also essential that organisations implement best practice guidelines when handling bank account details. The validation of bank account and sort code details at point of entry ensures that payments are only made to valid accounts, eradicating unnecessary bank charges and manual re-submissions.
As a final note, there is an increasing onus on business personnel to ensure the way they pay staff, suppliers and contractors is as secure as possible. Make sure you've done everything you can to reduce any potential risk of compromising confidentiality.