In the modern times, the advancing internet technology allows credit card holders to conduct online transactions through POS (Point-of-Sale). The clients order commodities across the globe using credit cards. However, this business technology exposes them to security vulnerabilities such as loss of private information to malicious hackers. Therefore, it is essential for credit card firms to adopt tighter internet security measures by using firewalls, VPN, and data encryption.

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Security of the credit card network and IT infrastructure calls for an end-to-end strategy. The role of a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) is to create awareness and recommend associated protective measures to the management. Despite the efforts to secure Internet connectivity between the firm and its clients, it is not easy to thwart all the website incursion attempts. Nonetheless, the move empowers the employees to counteract particular security lapses and to minimize potential costly damages.

In the credit card industry, not all stakeholders can safely keep personal information like access codes and passwords. What they do not understand is that a credit firm’s security system relies on a set of measures for access control. Consequently, it is necessary for the company to verify user identity and to inhibit disclosure of sensitive customer data. Ideally, the organization has to invest in retaining business secrets. Not only will it boost competition but also earn the clients’ confidence. If online thieves can steal the confidential business information and passwords, they will eventually compromise the system.

A secure credit card firm must comprehensively embrace end-to-end firewall and VPN structure for effectiveness. However, the managers have to understand that internet security is costly, especially for multinationals. Besides, it is not possible to protect information unless the security officer classifies all the firm’s assets, systems, and resources according to their importance to the business entity. Next, the company must identify the potential dangers to its business elements, which emanate from either external or internal sources. While most of such threats are human based, others are unintentional or automated (like Trojan horse virus).

Credit card security experts argue that physical security should be a first step in guaranteeing data safety. If there is physical access to internal servers, the site is exposed to all hackers worldwide since they can obtain certificates, secure files, bank account data, and passwords.

A virtual private network (VPN) provides credit card firms and their clients with unrestricted access to enterprise or private networks from remote locations. At the same time, the two parties can exchange secured information confidently while upholding high levels of integrity. There are several benefits of VPN. First, it guarantees the security and confidentiality of credit card data or sensitive organizational information. Second, VPN fosters integrity and earns customers’ trust on the company’s system. In this way, the business becomes competitive in the industry. Third, if the organization embraces this technology, the cost of connectivity reduces significantly, thus encouraging business expansion and flexibility. Most importantly, a credit business entity with numerous subsidiaries enjoys remote connection of users using a uniform network set. Therefore, they can share resources and network facilities virtually without compromising data safety and security.

Firewalls and VPN Fundamentals
The second most important security measure is the regulation of digital access to the firm’s network through the firewall. It is CISO’s responsibility to monitor the connectivity points between the organization’s website and the outside word. All medium-scale business entities have an internal network that is connected to an external website. In this case, it is recommendable that CISO should partition a boundary between intranet and internet. For a credit card organization, the internal server is the most trusted hence the security personnel uses it to keep sensitive information and business secrets.

Firewalls regulate data traffic out of and into the intranet server. It entails the utilization of specific routers running on specialized embedded systems and appliances. In other cases, the firewall is a set of application programs installed on the server platform. Given that it has two interfaces for both the external and internal networks, it should tightly regulate the incoming and outgoing data. I advise that the organization should assess the data traffic level and business needs prior to making a decision on the firewall choice. The more the services traverse a firewall, the complex it becomes to distinguish between illegitimate and legitimate data traffic. If set up correctly, a reasonable firewall protects the credit card firm from external threats like DOS (denial of service) attacks. On the other hand, a failure to configure them correctly results in a gradual development of security holes in a corporation.

Recommendation for Firewall and VPN
I recommend a site-to-site VPN protocol for the start-up firm because it enables business partners and different branch offices to connect with each other securely. A virtual private network like this utilizes dedicated instruments and large-scale encryption measures for an enclosed connection via unsecured public network platform. The firm should install the intranet-based and extranet site-to-site VPN to limit the vulnerability to a single private network. On the other hand, the business partners and clients can access the company’s information through a secured LAN (local area network connectivity). Despite that this strategy allows numerous parties to work together for mutual benefit in a shared environment, the external partners will not access the safely-guarded private organizational data.

Furthermore, I advise that the organization should acquire workstation firewall products to lock down the system and prevent unauthorized access to business secrets. A start-up organization faces fierce competition from its rivals. In extreme cases, the competitors that feel under threat may hire black hat hackers to steal sensitive information. However, this is avoidable through the introduction of strict firewall policies to secure the internal server. Besides, the organization should invest in educating staff on password protection.

Security Practices
In the long term, I will propose installation and regular update of anti-viruses on the firm’s internal IT systems to minimize the number of external attacks. Notably, most antivirus have inbuilt firewall framework that blocks serious system intrusion attempts, hence eliminating the vulnerability. Operating systems such as Windows have an internal firewall but may not be enabled. As a security officer, I will configure the firewalls on all the computers and internal servers to prevent malware penetration. Outdated Java versions must be uninstalled as well since they are a source of massive security holes. Additionally, I will ensure that the purchased VPNs have antimalware features and should support operating systems like Android, iOS, Linux, and Windows.

In summary, start-up companies face an increasing risk of system attacks from competitors and malicious hackers. In particular, phishing and malware affect most companies in e-commerce and banking industry. Therefore, the management should invest a significant amount of resources on the latest VPN and Firewall technologies because of evolving attacks. As a CISO, I will create awareness through internal seminars and workforce training sessions. On the other hand, I will introduce a platform for permanent interaction between the organization and its clients. The channel of communication gives the credit card users a chance to report suspicions and to minimize damage. Furthermore, I will forward a proposal on ratification of the existing internet security policies to capture the latest developments in the industry. Lastly, I will oversee research and development activities to boost internal server security.