What are the bad guys after? As an employee at an organization that processes credit card transactions, you are required to keep sensitive information about those payments secure at all times. if this information is compromised in any way, whether through alteration, corruption, loss, misuse, or unauthorized disclosure – it can cause serious harm to an individual or organization. You must always give the highest level of protection to this information.

Rules for credit card and debit card information security are set forth in the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI-DSS), a set of industry regulations. Failure to comply with these standards can result in penalties and increased transaction costs. In additional, stolen credit cards are often used to fund other criminal activity.

What is the sensitive information on a credit or debit card? In short, every element on the card must be kept safe, used only for the purposes of payment, and disposed of or stored (only if necessary, per company policy) according to standards.

Credit card data includes the following:

  • The full cardholder number, called the PAN or Primary Account Number
  • The security code (or card verification values - CVV) on the back of the card
  • Data from the magnetic stripe on the back of the card
  • Data from the chip embedded in the card
  • Any PIN data, if you accept cards that require a PIN number to be entered by the customer

Data breaches of sensitive information are often caused by an unsuspecting employee falling for social engineering techniques. Always stop, look, and think before you click on a link, respond to an email requesting sensitive information, or open up an attachment from any sender when you weren't expecting it to arrive. Verify the sender's legitimacy and intention first. Employees who do not take care of sensitive information can lead their organizations into fines, increased operating costs, loss of customer confidence, and even more governmental regulation. Do your part to keep sensitive information safe at all times.