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Are You PCI Compliant What Does It Mean And Why You Have To Be

PCI compliant is a term used to define the merchants, card issuers, and any other credit card processing entity that operates in any kind of commerce area. Although compliance is not necessarily regulated through a strict set of rules, it is mandatory through court precedent. The people in charge of making sure that clear guidelines are outlined are the ones working for the Federal Trade Commission. They make sure that certain key aspects of data security is being observed by all parties involved in any transaction and also oversee the way credit card companies set and maintain their standards when it comes to respecting the privacy of the cardholder. They are usually helped by The Card Association Network and the National Automated Clearing House.

What Is PCI DSS?

The letters in PCI DSS stand for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard and refer to the standard agreed upon in 2004 by most major credit card brands including Visa, MasterCard, and American Express. Even so, the standard isn’t mandatory for other credit cards such as card issues by department stores.

The standard itself is more of a widely accepted set of common-sense rules that set a series of best practices for credit card brands when it comes to data security. The standard was set in place in order to help merchants with the safe processing of credit card transactions and the prevention of fraud.  

PSI Compliant In a Remotely Working World

Nowadays working out of the office has become the new normal for most people. This is also true for the ones ensuring that a merchant is PCI compliant . Traditionally the two didn’t quite mi and inspectors had to physically be on location in order to observe how security protocols are being implemented and how workers kept to them. Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and the increase in online shopping volume, the need to be PCI compliant has sky-rocketed as well. That meant that more and more merchants had to be verified. This called for extraordinary measures such as developing a strategy for remote verification. But checking PCI compliance remotely didn’t mean that merchants could get away with easier checks, on the contrary. More levels of questioning and interviews were added so that the security assessor could make sure that the standards were met.  

In order for merchants to be able to comply with the PCI compliant requirements, a series of guidelines for best practices were recommended by the PCI Security Standards Council. These guidelines do not replace the traditional rules and standards used to asses a merchant, but to complete them and harmonize them with the current situation.  

One of the points the guidelines make is that in order to maintain PCI compliance a merchant has to create and maintain a certain level of a security culture within the organization. This can be done by constantly updating security policies and by periodically instructing and educating employees as to the changes that have been made. This helps them be up to speed with all the requirements needed to remain PCI compliant and still have a functioning work from home staff.

Requirements for Maintaining Credit Card Processing Safety Standards

Data leaks and security breaches aren’t anything new in the world of credit card processing . Some of the biggest names in the industry have been known to have their security measures bypassed and thousands of users were exposed to hackers and various other risks. Credit card processing is one of the most sensitive areas when it comes to security breaches. According to Norton’s official site only in the first half of last year, there have been 4.1 billion records exposed due to 3,800 data breaches. That’s more than a 50% increase compared to the same time period of 2018.

PCI compliance is all about the establishment of general guidelines in order for credit card processing by any merchant to go as smoothly as possible. It specifically refers to the protection of cardholder information and the way merchants, through their employees, can help maintain a high level of security when it comes to sensitive data.  

According to , “The PCI Data Security Standard specifies twelve requirements for compliance which are broken down into 6 distinct groups called control objectives. These six groups are:
•    Build and Maintain a Secure Network and Systems
•    Protect Cardholder Data
•    Maintain a Vulnerability Management Program
•    Implement Strong Access Control Measures
•    Regularly Monitor and Test Networks
•    Maintain an Information Security Policy”

What Are the Advantages of Credit Card Processing Protection?
Small businesses can find themselves fighting an uphill battle when it comes to credit card processing security. There are hundreds of merchants out there that have been hacked and their clients’ data exposed because they didn’t know how to take the necessary steps in order to protect that information. Even worse, there are still some businesses that do not know which are the necessary steps to ensuring processing security. This is where PCI DSS comes in. Although it may seem hard at first for some businesses to adapt to these regulations, the advantages that come with complying with PCI standards are huge.

Firstly, your customers will feel more confident about working with you. In any industry making a name for yourself takes time. If that name is ruined by a data breach it can take years in order for that business to get back on its feet. Some don’t recover at all. This is why keeping your customers’ data safe is paramount to any merchant. People like working with somebody that makes them feel safe and usually recommend them to others. This is why maintaining strong security around your card processing capabilities is one of the most important moves you can make.

Also, be sure that your employees are on board with whatever changes you make to your security policies. They are the face of your business and need to be able to reassure clients that they have a handle on things. Constant communication through meetings and educational sessions is the best for keeping your crew, and ultimately your business, in tip-top shape.

About Author Dane Bronson :

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Article Added on Saturday, May 23, 2020
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