PCI Compliance is a term to ensure you meet the security standards on accepting payments. The requirements of PCI are set and managed by the council of PCI security standards. It was founded in 2006 by credit card providers such as Amex, Discover, Visa, MasterCard, and JCB international. It ensures the merchants meet the security levels as they process, store, and transmit cardholder’s data.
PCI Compliance is not a necessity by law. Merchants should accept card payments. It means following the set regulations by the PCI Council to avoid infringement and to prevent non-compliance fees. The requirements for PCI compliance rely on the operation of the company. There are areas where businesses are prone to security vulnerabilities with devices and operating systems that the hackers use to access the company’s private network.
It has become imperative to identify within your company security weaknesses regarding sensitive cardholder information protection. The standards of security are set by PCI DSS Compliance aiming to safeguard customer’s details and your business.
Is there a way to become PCI Compliant?
There are various levels of PCI Compliance depending on the number of payments for the business processes every year. The component remains essential for businesses across the board to achieve PCI Compliance by 100%. Achieving it will keep the customers safe. Major credit card members have their data security standards as per PCI SSC.
- Level 1: Every year, over 6 million transactions.
- Level 2: Every year, transactions between 1-6 million processing.
- Level 3: Every year, transactions processing between 20,000 to1 million.
- Level 4: Every year, transactions processing less than 20,000.
The PCI requirements determine your level applicably. Each level requires merchants to fulfill the PCI DSS Questionnaire. It provides evidence of passing vulnerability scan and submitting to the acquirer the Attestation of Compliance.
Benefits of being PCI compliant
PCI compliant business relies on your business size, but it is important. It offers major benefits and is better than facing serious consequences. PCI Compliance assures customers to trust you with information. It brings a reputation for your business, and with PCI compliant contribution, it shows you follow security strategies.
What happens for a Not PCI compliant?
Being PCI Compliant is not compulsory, but without it, you may cause business damage, dampen your reputation, decrease brand image, and you may pay fines in case there is a breach happening with your customer data. It will cost your business in the long run, and it is a lot less to adhere to the requirements of PCI DSS Compliance.
PCI Compliance Key requirements
- Safeguard cardholder data with firewalls- The need for firewalls is to block the access of foreign and unknown entities attempting to access private data. For data protection, firewalls work as the frontline defense preventing malicious malware or hackers from entering. A firewall is a must to be PCI Compliant.
- Safeguards cardholder data- PCI Compliance ensures two-fold protection of the cardholder. The data should be encrypted with algorithms and encryption keys. Regular maintenance while scanning helps, and there is no existing unencrypted data.
- Maintain, Implement, and update anti-virus software- It is a must to install anti-virus software. It is a must for the devices, and most POS providers employ anti-virus measures that prevent installations.
- Password protection- The POS systems come with generic passwords, and it is easy to access. However, remember that to ensure compliance, you must have passwords for all the devices and software. Failing to secure will make you prone to vulnerabilities.
- Encrypt cardholder data- The cardholder data is sent across various channels such as home offices and payment processors. Thus, the cardholders’ data encrypted ensure safety.
- Assign unique ID- Individuals having access to customer’s data should have individual identification for access. There should not be a single login to access. Having unique IDs ensures no data compromise and faster response time.
- Implement security policy- You may comply with PCI DSS by maintaining a security policy. A risk assessment should be implemented to identify threats and vulnerabilities, while the usage policies need to be developed.
- Run processes tests- The compliance requirements involve different locations, software, and employees. It opens the malfunction option and requires ensuring to scan vulnerability tests as a precaution.
- Restrict physical access- The cardholder data should be stores physically in a secure location. The digital and the physical data should be locked in a secure environment. Each time the data is in access, there should be a log ensuring PCI Compliance.