Are you a business owner who accept card payments? Does your business store, process, or transmit payment card data for cashless electronic transactions? If so, your business falls under the jurisdiction of Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC), the governing body of card payment. The regulatory body maintains a set of rules popularly known as Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), which requires all such businesses to comply with the rules designed to safeguard customer information.
Conversely, businesses that are required to abide by PCI compliance fail to do so are subject to penalty for failing to maintain the industry’s security standard.
In order to ensure businesses follow the mandated PCI compliance, the enforcement entity recommends a 12-point checklist which elaborates on the specifics of the requirement audits. Here is a quick look at the checklist:
- Ensure that the cardholder data is protected
- Install updated antivirus programs on all computers and network.
- Use firewall to guard all cardholder information.
- Practice safe transactions by maintaining secure network environment.
- Monitor all sessions that concern cardholder data and network resources.
- Use due diligence to test security networks and processes routinely.
- Consolidate all security parameters like computer logins and network passwords.
- Enforce encryption of cardholder data being processed on public networks.
- Protect cardholder data through the standard “need-to-know” policy.
- Impose individual logins and unique credentials.
- Implement an in-house IT policy to address the concerns of information security.
- Restrict physical access to cardholder data, or the devices that store them.
It’s imperative that all businesses practice the aforementioned scenarios and report their PCI compliance to the concerned merchant companies.
PCI compliance is an expensive and taxing process; it is important that you take your time to understand the compliance process and take necessary steps to fulfill it. Make sure you also do an audit of the requirements, preferably by an experienced Quality Security Assessor (QSA) to understand what kind of requirements apply to you. There are 9 difference types of Self-Assessment Questionnaires (SAQs) that is unique to the ways businesses handle the cardholder data. A QSA can help you choose the right SAQ and help your business meet the PCI compliance standards.
Despite the time-consuming nature of the compliance process, the PCI compliance actually pays off in the long-run. It makes your business more desirable among buyers and helps you build a good name in the market. On the other hand, a small breach of data can go a long way to stigmatize your business’ hard-earned reputation in no time. Regardless of how tedius it is to meet PCI compliance standards, it is something businesses can’t afford to overlook.