Traverse City businesses need enhanced security to protect their customers

November 6, 2018

We at ACS recently had our credit card stolen. Everyone knows that this is a hassle, but for us it’s a costly hassle. This card is primarily used to pay recurring payments to close to a dozen vendors. This means that when the card is stolen it takes hours of staff time to setup our payments with our vendors. What is interesting about this situation is that we had the card stolen shortly after doing something we rarely do, using the card at a local vendor.

We had the need to purchase some services from two Traverse City businesses. Both are small ‘mom and pop’ type businesses. We are fairly confident that our credit card was either stolen at one of these businesses, or potentially sold by an employee at one of the businesses. We are, of course, trying to reach out to these businesses so that we can discuss this, and hopefully help them. This situation, however, strongly demonstrates that hackers, thieves and cyber criminals don’t only focus on big business, or businesses in big cities.

I recently read a fantastic article from Fortune magazine that talks about the new ‘chip’ card readers, and how the promise of less fraud from the new cards hasn’t come true. Fraud is as prevalent as before the upgrades. This quote from the fortune article basically sums up the entire problem-

But while the EMV standard is supposed to ensure the card data cannot be captured, many merchants are failing to properly configure their systems, according to a Gemini Advisory executive who spoke with Fortune. (Fortune has also reached out to the payment processors for comment and will update this article accordingly.) The upshot is that criminals have been able to insert themselves into the transaction data steam, either by hacking into merchant networks or installing skimmer devices in order to capture card information.

“…many merchants are failing to properly configure their systems…” This is us Traverse City. We are the merchants who are not doing the right things to protect our customers.

Later that week in my personal world I had the need to use BOTH companies again. I most definitely steered clear of these businesses. It was frustrating, as they are both good companies who do fine work, but they do not have my best interest at heart when it comes to protecting me.

ACS works with small businesses in the Grand Traverse region to secure their networks. Please feel free to contact us at 231-933-6333 to learn how you can protect your business and your clients.