Feature Article

January 26, 2016

Payment Data Security Needs to Be a Priority as Mobile Payments Grow

While acceptance of mobile and other new forms of payments is expected to double in the next two years—a recent study from Amdocs says this is in part because consumers are looking for cheaper options for transferring money—there are still hindrances that can stifle mobile payments growth. Indeed, a new global study conducted by Ponemon on behalf of Gemalto shows there’s a critical need for organizations to improve their payment security practices before the market can truly mature.

The data for this study comes from a survey of more than 3,700 IT security practitioners from more than a dozen major industry sectors. According to the payment data security study, 54 percent of those surveyed said their company had a security or data breach involving payment data four times in the past two years on average.

This may have to do with the fact that 55 percent of respondents said they don’t even know where all of their payment data is stored or located. In addition, the survey reveals that ownership of payment data security isn’t centralized, with 28 percent of respondents saying security lies with the CIO, 26 percent saying it’s the business unit’s responsibility, 19 percent pointing to the compliance department, 15 percent looking to the CISO, and 14 percent saying other departments are responsible for data security.

“These independent research findings should be a wakeup call for business leaders,” said Jean-Francois Schreiber, senior vice president for Identity, Data and Software Services at Gemalto. “Given what was found with traditional payment methods and data security, companies involved with payment data must realize compliance is not enough and fully rethink their security practices, especially since a full one-third of those surveyed said compliance with PCI DSS is not sufficient for ensuring the security and integrity of payment data.”

Despite recognizing insufficient security at their organizations, 54 percent of respondents said payment data security is not a top five security priority for their company. Only 31 percent said they feel their company allocates enough resources to protecting payment data. With mobile payments predicted to grow in the coming years, these problems are likely to be exacerbated as companies face further difficulty securing new payment methods.

“The financial fallouts from data breaches, and the damages to corporate reputation and customer relationships will carry even greater potential risk as newer payment methods gain adoption,” added Schreiber.

Edited by Kyle Piscioniere

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