Most small merchants are not security experts, but the past year's string of retailer breaches may slowly be changing their mindset.
This month, LifeLock debuted its Data Breach Service, which helps small businesses communicate with customers affected by a data breach. The security company hopes merchants see this service as a straightforward way to prepare themselves for an incident. The company also re-launched its mobile app recently to communicate with consumers about data protection.
While the mindset of small businesses is shifting to recognize they could be at risk, "with the amount of conversations we're having compared to the number of small businesses out there, it's definitely not the majority," said Domenic Paci, manager of breach response services at LifeLock. "Companies are already spending money on malware protection and different security services that they might never really need to utilize" so spending money on a proactive response plan doesn't seem that strange of an idea either, said Paci.
The Data Breach Service lets merchants set up custom landing pages, URLs and toll free numbers. LifeLock builds unique promotional codes for discounted or free products or services that a company would give customers affected by a breach. The package also includes a $1 million total service guarantee, meaning LifeLock will spend up to that amount, hiring experts and managing the mailing out of physical notifications, to help their clients get through a data breach.
While the Data Breach Service allows merchants to take control of their security, LifeLock's re-launched mobile app, LifeLock Wallet, allows consumers to take control as well.
The mobile app, which is available on Android an iOS, was first launched in December last year, after LifeLock acquired Lemon Inc. and integrated its Lemon Wallet app, which had payment capabilities.
But in May, LifeLock pulled the app out of app stores to address concerns that it was not compliant with the Payment Card Industry's data security standards. The move left customers extremely frustrated.
LifeLock Wallet was re-launched October 29, with the company hoping to earn back former Lemon Wallet users and attract a new customer base.
"We're super excited about having a presence in the mobile space, and having an app in the app store that targets a new demographic," said Steve Seoane, chief product officer at LifeLock. "The target market tends to be younger than the population we have historically gotten at LifeLock."
The app does not have payment capabilities, but instead focuses on allowing consumers to safely store and access their personal identity information, including ID and payments cards.
"Historically [consumers] have traded convenience for security, but what's compelling is when you can combine the two," said Seoane.
This is also part of Apple Pay's story, mixing the security of tokenization and biometrics authentication with the convenience of paying through Near Field Communication contactless technology on a mobile device, Seoane said.
The LifeLock Wallet app is free for users who want to just store cards, but data protection comes with tiered pricing. The standard package is $10 a month; the "advantage" product includes visibility into financial transactions and fraud alerts for $20 a month; and the ultimate plus product, which gives consumers views into their 401K and other asset accounts, is $30 per month.
Users of the Lemon Wallet app will have to re-enroll for the LifeLock Wallet since it was pulled.