What Exactly Is PCI Compliance?
If you’re reading this, chances are your business handles credit card transactions. Find out how satisfying PCI requirements will help you secure your clients’ sensitive cardholder information.
These days, there’s no shortage of regulatory standards all across the business world. And although this has its positives, it also places a lot of pressure on organizations to remain compliant with several important guidelines.
PCI DSS is one such significant compliance standard that applies to pretty much all organizations regardless of industry or size. Briefly put, if your business accepts, processes, stores, or transmits credit card data, you have to comply with PCI DSS.
What Are the Dangers of PCI Non-compliance?
- Compromised information that could hurt your organization or clients.
- A seriously damaged brand image.
- Account data breaches that could destroy your relationships and lead to reduced sales.
- Government fines, insurance claims, payment card issuer fines, lawsuits, and so on.
But the thing is, when it comes to launching your PCI compliance efforts, it’s never too late. If you aren’t exactly up to speed, this article shares everything you should know as you get started with PCI compliance. We need to begin by first defining a couple of essential terms.
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What Is PCI Compliance?
The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) are a set of requirements that aim to establish a secure information environment for any organization that accepts, processes, stores, or transmits credit card data. It was rolled out in 2006 to satisfy an increasing need to manage PCI security standards and bolster account security over the transaction process. The PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) is the independent body formed by Discover, American Express, Visa, JCB, and MasterCard to manage and administer PCI DSS.
Here’s a short video to help you get started on PCI Compliance:
How Can You Become PCI Compliant? For your business to be referred to as PCI compliant, you must continuously satisfy the PCI DSS requirements.
The PCI Data Security Standards have these 6 major objectives:
- Build and maintain a secure network and systems.
- Secure cardholder information.
- Maintain a vulnerability management program.
- Implement robust access control measures.
- Frequently screen and test networks.
- Maintain a data security policy.
Beyond these six primary objectives, PCI compliance also includes 12 key requirements.
What Are the 12 Key PCI Compliance Requirements?
- Use and Maintain Firewalls: Firewalls are a powerful primary safeguard against any unapproved access to your private information.
- Strong Password Protection: We recommend keeping a secure device/password inventory and changing your passwords as often as possible.
- Secure Cardholder Data: Encrypt your business information and regularly scan for any unencrypted data.
- Encrypt Transmitted Data: This equally applies to information transmitted to known locations.
- Use and Maintain Anti-viruses: You must secure each device that interacts with primary account numbers (PAN) using the latest antivirus software versions.
- Update Software: Apart from firewalls and antiviruses, you should regularly update every other bit of software.
- Restrict Data Access: You must allocate all cardholder information a “need-to-know” classification.
- Unique IDs for Access: This will improve security and reaction time if your data is ever compromised.
- Restrict Physical Access: The physical location where your cardholder information lives must be secure and any entrance logged.
- Create and Maintain Access Logs: Any activity that includes cardholder information or PAN must be recorded.
- Scan and Test for Vulnerabilities: To pinpoint potential weaknesses in your endeavors to achieve PCI compliance.
- Document Policies: You have to keep precise records of everything, including access logs, software, hardware, authorized employees, and so on.
Looking to Leverage the Services Of the Most Reliable PCI Compliance IT Partner in Las Vegas?
Our experienced IT professionals at Network Security Associates are here to support you through your PCI compliance journey to help secure your sensitive cardholder data.
Contact us now to get started | Call: (702) 547-9800.
Since 2003, NSA has been providing top-of-the-line customer care and an extensive array of managed IT services and security to our Las Vegas area clients. Our founder, Robert Davis, started this company because he was passionate about IT services and simultaneously saw a profound need for better customer care in the IT industry.