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Interviews

Security and compliance solutions: What is new? Interview with Sandra Higgins, Sysnet Global Solutions

Wednesday 12 June 2019 | 08:48 AM CET

The Paypers interviewed Sandra Higgins, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Sysnet Global Solutions, to learn about security best practices and compliance solutions

Could you introduce your company to our readers? What types of services do you provide, what markets do you address and how did your company start in the industry?

Sysnet is an information security and compliance solutions company, delivering information security assurance, compliance, and customer engagement solutions to the payments industry in over 60 countries worldwide. Established in 1989, our roots are in IT security. Since then, we have delivered a range of compliance and security solutions to a diverse array of clients, from merchants and SMEs to local and central government, corporate clients, and the banking and acquiring sectors.

In 2007, we launched our Sysnet.air solution – a web-based software platform that enables acquiring organisations to manage the PCI DSS compliance and security of entire customer portfolios. We have continued to enhance our offering to meet the changing requirements of the PCI SSC, payment card associations and, most importantly, our clients. Through Sysnet.air, we provide PCI compliance management services to over 2 million small and medium sized businesses worldwide.

More recently, we have developed our product offering to include Proactive Data Security (PDS), which provides a managed compliance and security service to SMBs. PDS is a technology and people focused service that easily and efficiently manages the often daunting task of PCI compliance. It takes merchants through the compliance process step-by-step, removing the jargon that previously confused SMBs and discouraged them from being compliant. PDS provides simple and strategic support from dedicated experts explaining any details which are unclear. During delivery of the managed service offering, merchants download an agent to their devices, which identifies any security issues and the tools needed to protect the business. If anything changes, Sysnet’s support team is alerted, and action is taken to address any vulnerabilities. This makes it easy for merchants to keep their customer and business information safe and stay compliant.

Congratulations on your recent Florin Award win! What, would you say, are the main elements that make your company stand out from other services?

Sysnet is the only business to offer a managed PCI compliance service at a price that smaller businesses can afford. Sysnet is able to offer this price point by providing managed services at scale, through partnerships with the world’s largest acquiring organisations. Our PDS solution enables merchants to take an active approach to securing payment information, providing managed compliance and security to tens of thousands of small businesses globally, as well as to the largest and most demanding players in the payments industry.

Additionally, what sets Sysnet’s PDS solution apart is our highly-trained support team who provides unrivalled service and security advice to merchants. The team deals with everything from scanning issues to complex environment issues that require the assistance of security experts and Qualified Security Assessors.

What are the key takeaways from attending 2019’s European Payments Summit?

The most striking thing we found during our attendance at the European Payments Summit was the fact that regulatory compliance and technology was at the front of mind of attendees during the whole event. The speaker slot on regulatory challenges was particularly interesting. We gained further insight into the issues that are impacting our customers day-to-day, and into the next stage of payments compliance and regulation. Additionally, we received an overview of the wider landscape which we work in, and how our business can evolve to continue providing a best-in-class service.

Also, we had the opportunity to present our PDS solution on stage at the event. We were able to discuss how PDS is revolutionising the sector for SMB merchants, as well as demonstrate how simple and user-friendly our service is. It was great to receive a fantastic reception from the crowd, which was made up of key leaders in the industry.

What are the main trends that we should be on the lookout for 2020?

When conducting our recent PCI Sentiment Survey, we uncovered that acquirers want compliance rates to be at least 70% – this is the highest ever recorded. With 72% of acquirers currently operating at less than 60% compliance, we can expect a major clampdown on merchants, with acquirers demanding greater due diligence. This will be driven by the fact that acquirers now feel they hold a higher duty of care to their merchants.

This change in opinion has been driven by the rise of managed services, we’ve already seen a vast number of acquirers move to these services to raise compliance levels, and we can expect this trend to continue in 2020.

About Sandra Higgins

Sandra Higgins is the driving force behind changing the narrative around PCI DSS compliance within Sysnet and the wider industry. Her mission is to change the industry’s view of punitive PCI non-compliance fees, and has championed changing the focus from fees and penalties to the provision of value-add solutions. She has over 20 years’ experience working in the payments industry, and has been with Sysnet Global Solutions for over ten years. Sandra began her career with Bank of Ireland, Credit Card Services working on both the issuing and acquiring sides of the organisation. Sandra was also a founding member of a new joint venture between Bank of Ireland and Nova Information Systems, which was later rebranded as Elavon Merchant Services.

About Sysnet Global Solutions

Established in 1989, Sysnet Global Solutions provides payment card industry, cyber security, and compliance solutions that help businesses to improve security, and acquiring organisations to reduce risk. Sysnet’s clients include banks, acquiring organisations, ISOs, PSPs, and commercial organisations, as well as over two million small and medium sized businesses who use its Sysnet.air platform to manage their compliance and security. Headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, with offices in London, Atlanta, Poznan, Cape Town, and Hyderabad, Sysnet has customers in over 60 countries, boasting six of the top ten global acquirers as clients.

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