The Merchant Processing Guru Tip #25: The recent Global Payments breach

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The Merchant Processing Guru Tip #25: The recent Global Payments breach

On Friday March 30, 2012 Global Payments announced that their system had been breached but they were not yet sure of the extent of the breach at that time. Unlike most breaches of this kind, that are usually discovered only months after they occur and then only after Visa & MasterCard initiate an investigation due to a pattern detected by their system, this breach was detected almost immediately by Global Payments’ system and their employees were able to lock out the hackers within approx. 42 minutes. Due to the quick detection and action by Global, the breach resulted in only 1.5 million card numbers being compromised.

In light of all this I would be bold enough to say that this was a small victory for the good guys finally! It is not a matter of keeping hackers out that we should look at as the definition of victory or loss, as hackers with the determination, skill and resources being able to gain entry to any system these days is pretty much a given! But the sheer ability to detect when they have entered the system, isolate and shut them down within such a short time and with minimal loss of data is something to be applauded!

I say this with much history and data to go on. Since 2005 the Privacy Rights Clearing House has recorded more than 3000 such breaches involving more than 500 million private records. Last year alone there were 591 breaches reported! The last breach of a major credit card processor occurred in 2008 where Heartland Payment Systems lost well over 100 million card records as their system did not detect the breach for close to 90 days.

In 2007 TJ Max also lost approx. 45 million cards and CardSystems lost over 40 million cards in 2005. In most of these cases, as was the case with Global, only track 2 data was stolen which holds the credit card number and the expiration date as well as other data of little importance to hackers. The only thing they can do with this data is make charges to the card, which are 100% covered by the Visa & MasterCard guarantee. What this means to consumers is that they are not liable for any of the fraudulent activity on that card and the hackers cannot open any new accounts in their name.

Russell Harverson has over 9 years experience in the card processing industry and has build a reputation for “being there” for all his merchants! The goal of The Merchant Processing Guru is to provide you with the right, cost effective processing solution for your individual business needs, no matter how large, small or different, he has done it all. He is your Guru of Merchant Processing, shedding light on the credit card processing industry. To contact him via email [email protected]
Or call him at: 1-888-368-GURU (4878)

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