Security and PCI Compliance

Clearent’s DataGuardian Security Suite

by

July 11, 2018

Business is different than it was even a decade ago. Data breaches and other advanced cybersecurity threats make PCI compliance and payment security a necessity for even hobby businesses.

These days everything is digital. When was the last time you saw someone using a manual credit card imprinter? Whether you accept payments from chip credit cards or Apple Pay, the risks (and regulations) remain essentially the same. Hackers and thieves don’t care if you’re a one-man weekend operation or a major corporation. If you own a business that accepts credit cards, you need protection from security threats. If you use Clearent as your processor, you’re able to take advantage of the tools offered by the DataGuardian Security Suite.

Read on for more information on DataGuardian and how it can protect your business and your customers.


What is DataGuardian?

DataGuardian is a complete suite of security tools offered as a standalone product. Based in Missouri, Clearent has long worked in credit card processing. These security tools have always been used to protect the company’s own business customers. Introducing the DataGuardian product is its way of extending that security to more business owners.

DataGuardian

PCI compliance, data and network monitoring, and live support are offered to ensure full integration with your current payment solutions. This includes ecommerce, mobile, and card transactions. In addition, the company maintains updated information, resources, and step-by-step guides to keep you current on security best practices.

How does it work?

To maintain PCI compliance, DataGuardian uses end-to-end encryption based on tokenized authentication. It’s not as simple of a task as it sounds, because this means it also needs to secure your network and your connection to your payment processor and gateway. To alleviate this, DataGuardian includes a full suite of network security tools to help you secure your network.

You won’t be alone – Clearent’s staff of security experts are on-call, ready to guide you through any processes and offering quarterly network scans and status reports. You’ll also have access to educational resources that explain what you need to do to stay secure. In the event the system fails (which is still possible, as no security system is foolproof), the company offers a $100,000 data breach protection policy to help cover your losses.

See also: Is data breach insurance worth it?


Who is DataGuardian good for?

DataGuardian can be a good fit for businesses that use Clearent (or its reseller processing companies) and would like assistance with payment security.

The services offered by DataGuardian are necessary for every type of business. PCI compliance applies to all card transactions, whether they’re e-commerce, swiped, or keyed. Chip cards, online shopping carts, mobile payments, and card readers all need to be secured.

PCI self-assessments can help you determine if your business is PCI compliant. Network security can be more difficult to understand, especially if you don’t have an in-house IT department. DataGuardian can be a particularly good fit for business owners that don’t have time to think about computer security.

Not with Clearent? Many processors offer similar suites of security tools that can help you ensure safe transaction processing for your business and your customers. Check with your processor to find out what tools are available too you. First Data customers can check out the TransArmor security suite for similar features.

How much does it cost?

Clearent (or the processor you work with) determines pricing for DataGuardian based on the risk profile of your business and other factors. That means that exact pricing isn’t available online, and you’ll need to fill out a contact form to request it. I know what you’re thinking – this typically means it’ll be expensive. However, CardFellow has your back, and we can do the negotiating for you.

By contacting a Clearent processor for a quote through our free quote request tool, you’ll benefit from competitive pricing and expert advice on your processing options. Your quotes will include all rates and fees, including the costs for using DataGuardian.

I don’t want DataGuardian. How do I cancel it?

DataGuardian is a required component when accepting credit cards through a Clearent processor. To cancel DataGuardian, you would need to terminate your merchant account with your processor, which may incur early termination fees or other penalties. Be sure to review your contract with your processor before closing a merchant account.

Best Practices for Security

Regardless of whether you use DataGuardian or another processor’s security tools, be sure to keep current on security standards. Network security is constantly changing as new threats emerge, and PCI compliance is meant to keep both businesses and their customers safe. Outsourcing the bulk of this risk to Clearent can be helpful, but it doesn’t wash your hands of security.

Clear processes and procedures should be in place in every business to protect its data and customers. Employees need to understand their responsibility in it too. Humans are always the weakest link in security.

A few best practices to keep in mind:

  • Use a variety of security measures for both physical and digital security of all business assets at all times.
  • Consistently monitor and document network conditions to ensure threats are quickly identified and handled.
  • Store sensitive information in secure areas, and destroy any documents that may contain sensitive information prior to discarding.
  • Have a process in place to disable building and computer access to employees once they are separated from the company.
  • Avoid falling victim to password myths. Alphanumeric passwords with special characters that must be changed frequently are the worst things you can require. Instead, focus on long phrases and sentences that are easy to remember and hard to guess. A 30+ character password like “My cat’s breath smells like cat food” is much harder to crack than “!pA$$w0rd.”

If you still have questions on PCI compliance, payment processing, or anything else your business needs, don’t hesitate to sign up or contact us today.

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Brian Penny

BY Brian Penny

Brian Penny is a former business analyst and operations manager at Countrywide and Bank of America turned whistleblower and freelance writer. His banking career also included jobs for Chase, American Express, and client work for Wells Fargo and other large banks. He's interested in all things finance, and spends much of his time for CardFellow writing about financial technology and payment security.In addition to CardFellow, you can find Penny's blogs on Huffington Post, Forbes, Fast Company, The Street, Cracked, High Times, Quicken's Small Business Resource, and Small Business Daily.

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