Information security expert: Protecting digitized customer data is a top business concern

Recently, four experts on information security shared what they felt were the biggest issues organizations face pertaining to the matter. In conversations with the Wall Street Journal, these professionals shared their thoughts on topics ranging from businesses knowing too much about their employees to how throwing out the wrong documentation can put sensitive information at risk.

Robert Howell, a professor at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, and senior partner at Howell Group LLC, shared a different opinion. According to Howell, one of the biggest problems facing information security is the digitization of sensitive organizational and customer data. 

"Hacking into a firm's customer information, including personal information and accounts is, potentially, another huge exposure risk," he said. "With the digitization of almost every kind of information, broad-based information-security management is both very challenging and absolutely essential."

He also spoke about the importance of protecting financial information and the vulnerabilities businesses have to be cognizant of when they store data in on-site systems. This is certainly a major issue in payment processing because a targeted attack on an organization's system could put the private data of every customer in jeopardy. That's why having a solution to store data off-site and out of the reach of a targeted attack is so ideal.

Payment tokenization can do this because merchants who implement this system will not store customer data on-site. This is a smart option as it reduces risk, which ultimately reduces cost. Not only can tokenization reduce PCI compliance costs, it can reduce the cost of resolving a potentially brand-damaging crisis should a targeted attack ever take place.

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