While procurement officers are obviously focused on ensuring that payments are made on time at all stages, it is also important for the security of transactions to be considered too. Unfortunately, in this digital day and age when we constantly use our computers to complete tasks, and where hackers find ever more sophisticated ways to gain access to networks and systems, companies are at more risk of digital attacks than ever before.
Thankfully though, there are numerous things you can do to protect your organization when transactions are finalized. Read on for some top tips you can follow today to ensure payment processes are secure as possible.
Use Security Software and Firewalls
Something that is simple and straight forward to do yet incredibly important when it comes to securing financial transactions for your business is utilizing protective software and firewalls. Hackers often break into systems because there are no defenses on them, but this can be remedied at an affordable price.
You can buy comprehensive security software online or in stores that will protect your networks and computers from spam, viruses, spyware, and malware. Good-quality products will ensure transactions made by your business online are private and secure; and will provide protection for the highest-level SSL certificates too.
Don’t forget to ensure that all of your computers have firewalls acting as another line of defense as well. Firewalls work to pick up on breaches and insecure data traveling in to devices amongst credible information. If you don’t already have firewalls installed and activated on your devices, you can buy third-party products easily online or in your local I.T. or department stores.
Create Strong Passwords
Another vital thing you need to do in order to keep financial information and other business details safe from prying eyes is to ensure that all computers and systems used within your company have strong passwords on them. This will help to keep hackers at bay.
When it comes to choosing codes, make sure that all those you put in place are at least eight characters longer, and cannot be easily guessed. Steer clear of common passwords such as, as well as codes that are based on publicly-available information.
The best passwords are also those which are made up of a mixture of numbers, symbols, and upper- and lower-case letters. In addition, it pays to use different codes across different devices and websites, so that if one or some of them are compromised, not all of them will be at risk.
Select Payment Methods Carefully
It is also important to do your research and think carefully about which payment methods you choose to use, and how. You should never, for instance, hand over your company credit card to someone who will take it out of your sight or use an old-fashioned (and unsecure) EFTPOS machine or swipe system. Similarly, never give out information over the phone to anyone if you’re not sure that they really work for the company they say they do.
Do not click on links to payment systems from emails or other spots either, as these could be embedded with malicious codes. Instead, only ever type in the specific URL address of the payment type you want to use, such as PayPal or your bank’s web address.
When it comes to online transactions, whether you’re making payments or taking them, it is best to use virtual merchant solutions which have the top features in security so that sensitive information is safeguarded. The best options ensure that data is transferred securely and never stored; that information is encrypted; and that transactions are tokenized.
If you want to keep your company’s payment processes secure, you should also conduct regular updates of security software, firewalls, browsers, plugins, and apps — anything that is computer-based, and especially those which are linked to the internet.
Keep in mind that the creators of these types of products release updates on a regular basis because they find security holes and then find ways to plug them. You must, therefore, be using the most up-to-date versions if you want to keep things as secure as possible.
It is also necessary to update your passwords more than once every few years, which is what most people do. In fact, codes should really be changed around every two to three months, if you want to ensure that hackers are kept at bay.