That is a question every merchant should be asking. Unfortunately, no one has the answer. Those of us in the industry, with a vested interest in data security, are anxiously awaiting the answer to that question. As we look into our crystal ball here at Wind River, we can see several different outcomes that are possibilities:
1) As with any high visibility national issue, the folks in Washington will get involved. We can expect new regulations or laws that will be presented as honestly trying to help the situation, but most likely, given Washington’s track record, probably exacerbate the problem. Our biggest fear is that it will be some “stealth” legislation that is tacked on to some other bill. We hope that there will be appropriate time given to comment and react, but we should be prepared for a fire drill to implement the procedures/security that will be proscribed.
2) There will be even more confusion about the correct path to take. Chip cards, biometrics, other cyber security maneuvers…..be prepared to be bombarded with the “silver bullet” solutions.
3) Increased security breaches….if the cyber crooks really believe the industry will be making the infrastructure more secure, they will put on a full court press to take advantage of the current situation.
4) Increased costs….see # 2, 3, and 4. The only thing we can be assured of is that the costs to safeguard the data and apply new standards will go up. We expect new terminals and software to be mandated.
Wind River takes the position that data security is the responsibility of the card issuers, the merchants, the processors, and yes, us the payment processing companies. We are all in this one together.
Our mission here at Wind River will be to provide our merchants with guidance and support as the effects of the recent breaches begin to impact our clients.