Understanding PCI compliance is not easy. E-commerce websites (or online merchants) have a hard time meeting the 12 significant requirements laid down by PCI DSS council and therefore end up facing several liabilities. Not to mention the dent caused to their online reputation because of the exposure of security vulnerabilities their businesses contain.
While understanding PCI compliance can be a tough task – just like other cybersecurity acts like HIPAA, FISMA, Homeland Security Act etc., – it is not entirely impossible. You just need to get the basics right, employ the right kind of security tools and people to get the job done. Therefore, in this blog, let’s take a look at 5 steps every e-commerce or online merchant should be taking in order to make themselves PCI compliant.
1. Hire Someone Who Is Good At PCI DSS: There are many PCI DSS Consultancy Services available online which can assist you with this. These people are usually experts in PCI DSS requirements and can, therefore, offer valuable opinions which go a long way in making online merchants PCI compliant.
And if you’re thinking of understanding PCI DSS compliance on your own, we appreciate your enthusiasm. But remember that this is not an easy task and it’s always better to have security experts to assist you with this.
2. Use PCI Compliant Hosting Providers: Hiring PCI compliant hosting providers to host your business website is another excellent way of meeting the 12 significant requirements laid down by this cybersecurity regulatory body. Because such compliant hosting providers know which areas of the website they should be focusing on specifically.
Although hiring such hosting providers can be expensive, it is something online merchants won’t regret.
3. Educate Your Developers About PCI DSS Requirements: For this to happen, you should have implemented the first step. That is, hired someone who is good at PCI compliance. Of course, anyone can to a certain extent, understand basic requirements of PCI DSS, it is the “how’s” that matter.
Like, for example, how to avoid storing cardholder data in your database? How to assign a unique ID to each person which computer access? How to track and monitor all access to network resources and cardholder data? You have to educate your website developers regarding all these PCI DSS-related “hows”. And this will be possible only if you accomplished step 1.
4. Employ Qualified Security Assessor Tools: QSA tools are PCI DSS approved scanning/auditing tools which online merchants can use to understand (through scanning) the extent to which they are complying with the rules laid down by this cybersecurity regulatory body. Our very own HackerGuardian is a PCI DSS council approved scanning/auditing vendor which online merchants worldwide can make use of.
Another tool online merchants should have in their toolkit to monitor their level of PCI compliance.
5. Take PCI SAQ Self-Assessment Questionnaire Every Year: Another tool which helps online merchants assess their PCI compliance. The 12 PCI DSS security requirements are divided into 6 broader sections. But often the problem which online merchants are often confronted with is ‘which questionnaire suits their business well? Because totally 9 different versions of this questionnaire are available.
Fortunately, our PCI DSS Council approved HackerGuardian tool can help online merchants with this as well. Using HackerGuardian PCI Compliance wizard, online merchants can take these PCI SAQ tests easily with the help of some expert advice. And the results are also made available immediately.
PCI compliance may be complex. But online merchants should realize that they are important and not treat them as some unnecessary nuisance. Because becoming PCI compliant will not only help e-businesses avoid liabilities but will improve their overall security greatly. And improved security means fewer chances of cardholder data being compromised.
With this in mind, take the steps or measures which have been listed on this blog. Your e-business will soon become PCI-compliant.