Whether they operate a brick-and-mortar location, an e-commerce website or both, businesses have an obligation to protect the sensitive payment information given to them by customers. Third-party support providers – such as those that offer credit card processing software – can offer the guidance these professionals need to ensure this data is kept secure, says one expert.

Bill Steele, an executive with a cloud-based solutions provider, wrote in a recent column for Manufacturing Business Technology about the challenges of data security, particularly as it relates to transaction data culled from payment processors. The expert noted that e-commerce merchants can address these issues by partnering with a servicer that takes the matter of Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) seriously.

“Solution providers that are Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliant enforce a robust set of security standards that dictate how sensitive data must be stored, transmitted and processed,” Steele wrote. “Obtaining compliance can be expensive and time consuming but firms that are PCI compliant, and have tenure with PCI compliance, allow you to operate your e-commerce business with confidence.”

One increasingly popular way for businesses to protect cardholder data is the use of credit card payment processors with data isolation capabilities. Often called “tokenization,” this concept refers to the creation of an off-site data storage interface that ensures cardholder information is separate from a retail website and not vulnerable to external attack.

By utilizing a credit card processing system that offers this type of data isolation, businesses find that ideal balance between service and security. Customers are able to easily pay for services and products either in-person or on the Web, and business owners know their clientele’s private information is protected.