Top 5 PCI Compliance Best Practices

June 26, 2015 | By Natasha Miranda

Adapt your business to suit the constantly changing PCI compliance guides to avoid identity theft

In an age when eCommerce is leaping towards mobile commerce and cashless transactions are on the rise, Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance is a no-brainer for businesses that accept card payments. The compliance rules for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)  keep changing routinely, and so, it is imperative for businesses to keep themselves abreast of the changing norms.

PCI Compliance

Not only are some of these compliance getting adopted as cyber laws, businesses that don’t take precautionary measures to safeguard their customers’ information are subject to heavy penalties from the regulatory body – the PCI Security Standards Council. Subsequently, non-complying vendors will suffer business loss triggered by lack of trust among its customers.

It is a good idea to familiarize your business with the ever-changing PCI compliance guidelines so that your business will adapt with the changing rules. Below, we share top 5 best practices to look for in order to comply with the PCI regulations:

1. Keep Your Consumer Data Safe

Bluntly put, don’t stash the cardholders’ data with you. The longer they are stored with you, the more vulnerable they are of being stolen. Don’t keep anything available electronically or in hard copies, purge the stored information regularly from your card machines, and make sure your network is password protected to avoid data theft.

2. Update Your Systems Frequently

You can use antiviruses to keep malware and spyware at bay. They will automatically scan your system at regular frequencies. Another proactive measure to take is to perform Quarterly Vulnerability Scanning and Annual Penetration Testing to gauge your system’s defense capability against possible hacks. An Authorized Scan Vendor would come very handy in this regard.

3. Make Changes When Necessary

Implement even the smallest changes when there is an overhaul in the system configuration, or when guidelines for the PCI compliance are revised. Complacency is the enemy of compliance – don’t let it creep in. Create new passwords when an employee leaves the job and is no longer associated with your business. More so, strengthen your network security by using pass phrases instead of passwords.

4. Choose Your Processors Carefully

With an overabundance of credit card processors in the market, choosing the right payment gateway and the right pay partners can be somewhat tricky. However, the golden rule is to make sure the processors are PCI compliant, and are willing to assist you with (or recommend you the names of companies that provide) necessary vulnerability scanning.

5. Stay Ahead Of The Game

The best way to be in the good books of PCI compliance is by educating yourself about the changing norms. Take the self-assessment questionnaire (SAQ) published by the PCI Security Standards every now and then to check if you are doing things right. Sign up to their newsletter and stay informed about the PCI regulations and the discussions going around them.

PCI compliance is a sensitive touch point where the businesses can’t afford to go wrong. Every year, media outlets report about several fraudulent cases where cyber criminals perpetuate identity thefts from businesses who in turn lose credentials from the regulatory body and lose a lot of money as a result of it. Don’t be that business; stick to PCI compliance best practices and take your business to new horizons.

PCI Compliance Practices


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