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Securing and Protecting Member Data: What You Should Consider

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It’s no longer a secret that effectively collecting, storing and utilizing consumer data is providing businesses, especially in the fitness club industry, a serious competitive advantage. Leveraging data insights has also become a boon for members, as operators deliver seamless, faster, personalized and convenient experiences.

The challenge that accompanies our data-driven economy is the constant, massive flow of detailed member and prospect information, which results in an increased risk of data being lost, stolen or compromised. Obviously, this can have a significant impact on your health club business and members.

The problem is not limited to large fitness brands. Regardless of the size of your gym or the volume of transactions processed, a data breach can happen to anyone. In 2019 alone, there were over 2,000 data breaches worldwide. Only 4% of these hacks were “secure breaches” where encryption technology was bypassed in order to steal data. Today, hackers can easily find a way to access personal information in your database if the proper preventative infrastructure isn’t in place.

Among the many problems a data breach could create, some of the most troubling that a health club or gym owner would have to manage include:

  • Promptly notifying members whose personal information has been compromised.
  • Facing possible litigation and legal defense charges.
  • Suffering from a damaged reputation and its associated revenue impact.

As a fitness club owner, one of the ways you can protect yourself against these possible outcomes is by using management software that offers secure health club payment processing and services through end-to-end encryption.

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a security standard for technical and operational payment systems. The whole purpose of the PCI DSS is to protect card data from hackers and thieves. By using technology that is certified to this standard, you can mitigate the risk to your employees and members.

In order to maintain a Payment Card Industry (PCI) certification, software and payment processing providers must build and maintain a secure network, protect cardholder data through encryption, implement and maintain anti-virus software and control measures, and regularly monitor networks. It is important to make certain your management software and gym payment processing services are Level 1 PCI Compliant.

Data breaches are more than just an inconvenience for your business. They are a serious threat to your security, reputation, client relationships and costs.

Mike Escobedo is the chief customer officer for ABC Financial Services. He has worked in the health club and fitness industry for the past 10 years in a variety of roles that all supported health club operators in adopting and implementing solutions to support their fitness businesses success. You can reach Mike at mike.Escobedo@abcfinancial.com. To learn more about ABC Financial Services, visit abcfinancial.com.

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