Ensuring the Security of Third-Party Merchant and Software Suites

Data breaches have happened to many businesses due to the third-party software solutions that they use. When looking for a c-store back office software suite, it's absolutely essential that you consider security first. A data-breach attack could cause a loss of faith in you for your customers in addition to significant liability costs.

Review the Current Patches

No software is completely secure. All solutions will have vulnerabilities discovered that will need to be properly patched. The more often the software solution is patched and updated, the more likely it is to be secure. Ideally, you should find a third-party solution that is exceptionally well-supported and that comes out with upgrades on a regular basis. 

Look Up Potential Vulnerabilities

Open-source solutions in particular often have any exposed vulnerabilities documented online. By looking up potential vulnerabilities for a system in advance, you'll be able to determine whether the system is properly secured. 

Determine Where Your Data Is Stored

If your data isn't properly stored, you're going to be vulnerable. Not only do you need to know where your data "lives," but you also need to know where it's backed up. Every single copy of your data will need to be secured; if a single one is compromised, everything will be. If your data is being hosted on a cloud-based server, you will also need to know which additional steps are being taken to make sure that it is not exposed to risk.

Ask About Security Standards

Your vendor should be able to give you a detailed overview of their risk assessments and security standards. If your vendor cannot communicate this information to you effectively, it's likely that they are behind in their current security protocols.

Ensure Compliance

Many industries have certain regulations regarding compliance. Government organizations, accounting services, and financial services are among those that have compliance rules they need to follow for their digital media. If you're in a medical or financial industry, you will need to ensure that the third-party tools meet compliance standards. If you're a standard private organization, you may want to still find a tool that has federal government compliance, as this will ensure a minimum level of security.

There are dozens of popular merchant suites, from commercial software to open-source solutions. It shouldn't be assumed that they all have security in mind. Instead, you need to do your due diligence to make sure that your customers are safe.