Top 4 Basic Cybersecurity Steps Payment Facilitators Should Take

April 5, 2021

At a Glance:

  • Risk vs Reward: Though there are many advantages to becoming a payment facilitator over using the traditional payment model, the rewards bring additional risks.
  • Business Impact: Payment facilitators must establish strong internal control systems and processes to address external risks and protect their operations and customers.
  • Where Do I Start: There are three basic risks you should address in your internal controls, which we outline in detail below.

This list is not exhaustive, and the cybersecurity landscape is vast and evolving. Need professional help developing your cybersecurity risk management plan? Contact Aprio today.

The full story:

When you read about security breaches in the news, the stories typically focus on large corporations like Target or Equifax. But the reality is that small businesses are just as vulnerable to cybersecurity breaches as major Fortune 500 companies.

According to a 2020 report by Verizon, nearly one in three security breaches involves small businesses. And nearly half of small business owners surveyed by software provider BullGuard last year said they lack a cybersecurity defense plan.

As a payment facilitator dealing with virtual transactions, you are at a higher risk of falling prey to a cybersecurity breach. Here are some introductory steps you should take to address your risk.

1. Define your risk fingerprint

First, understand what risks are unique to your business. At Aprio, we call this the “risk fingerprint,” as it differs from business to business.

For instance, as a payment facilitator, you may be more vulnerable to fraudulent transactions from nefarious outsiders, or you could be concerned with customer data confidentiality and integrity. Once you have identified the most prominent risks you face, you can develop a solid plan of action for mitigating them.

2. Rate and prioritize each risk

After you have developed your unique fingerprint, rate each risk your business faces. At Aprio, our team uses a defined methodology for rating security risks, which then helps our clients prioritize the threats that are most critical. Having a big-picture, consolidated view of your security risks, ranked by priority and threat level, allows you to act on them swiftly.

3. Measure risk maturity

Once you have prioritized and ranked your security risks, a risk maturity assessment can help you benchmark how your risk management practices measure up to industry standards. This exercise can give you an illuminating look into how you’re currently securing your business against risks, where gaps exist and how you can improve. This will help you revamp your risk management program and drive processes, policies and standards to help protect your business, assets and customers.

4. Define targets and start developing your roadmap

One of the most essential steps to creating a solid risk management foundation is implementing a roadmap that targets key risks and develops actions for addressing them. There are many software solutions available in the marketplace that can help streamline your cybersecurity approach — from patching and pen testing, to protecting your workstations and servers, to multifactor authentication.

This is also where the help of a trusted cybersecurity expert can come into play; having a team that can help take the lead on the deployment of your security roadmap can make the difference between falling short or succeeding in the execution phase.

The bottom line

Cybersecurity is a tangible threat that can cost you your credibility, customers and bottom line. Aprio’s Digital Transformation and Cybersecurity Advisory Services team can provide a full spectrum of security capabilities, plus the tools and processes you need to address threats before they wreak havoc on your business.

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About the Author

Jeff Kramer

Jeff Kramer is Aprio's Executive Vice President of Digital Transformation Advisory and Cybersecurity | Specializing in providing managed IT solutions and advisory services to small, medium and large businesses in manufacturing, consumer products and insurance. In an evolving world, Jeff is there to provide ever-adapting solutions to meet any client needs.