Changes to the security systems used by Bacs come into place on 13th June 2016 that could leave your business unable to process payments if you have not upgraded your IT accordingly. It is not something that you should be intimidated by however, as there is plenty of support out there to help you make the changes.
If your business uses Bacs for payroll, paying invoices or collecting direct debits then you need to be prepared. For twenty years secure internet sites are usually protected by Secure Hash Algorithm -1 SSL, or SHA – 1 SSL, which was adopted in 1996 but is now prone to cyber attacks. The National Institute of Standards and Technology has now developed SHA – 2 SSL which Google and Microsoft have endorsed as a more secure way of protecting sites. Bacs though is taking an additional step and also introducing Transport Layer Security (TLS).
As a result of these upgrades, from 13th June 2016 Bacs will no longer process payments made using SHA -1 SSL. Only transactions from TLS compliant software will be accepted and you need to make sure your business is ready for this. You should not be daunted by this however, just prepared and it only takes a few steps to make sure you are ready.
If you submit your payments directly to Bacs, your Bacs approved software solutions provider can advise as to whether you Bacstel-IP software supports or can be upgraded to support the new SHA-2 SSL and TLS 1.1/1.2 security certificates. Alternatively if you access Bacs instead via the Payments Services website, you need to ask your IT provider if your operating system supports the new security. If you are still using Windows 2000, XP or Vista you will most likely need to upgrade.
If you haven’t yet checked if you are compliant with the new systems you need to do so now. Don’t wait until 13th June and find your payments are declined. The upgrades are simple enough to install and not too costly, sometimes being covered within your IT provider’s overall package. Further information about the new security is also available on the FAQ page of the Bacs website here.