The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to PCI Compliance
If you’re reading this, chances are you looked up information on PCI compliance. Discover how you can conform to PCI requirements and secure tour clients’ sensitive cardholder data.
In the current tightly regulated business world, organizations of all sizes and types are under a great deal of pressure to remain compliant with several complicated standards. And one essential compliance standard that applies to practically all businesses is PCI DSS. Simply put, if your business stores, processes, or transmits credit card data, you have to meet all the PCI requirements.
What Are the Risks of PCI Non-compliance?
- Compromised data that could hurt your business or customers.
- Account data breaches that could harm your business relationships and lead to lower sales.
- Your brand image could become severely damaged.
- Lawsuits, government fines, insurance claims, payment card issuer fines.
Although PCI non-compliance presents an alarming host of dangers, it’s never too late to begin your compliance journey.
If you aren’t exactly up to speed with the PCI requirements, this article shares what you need to know to get started.
Let’s first go over some key definitions.
What Is PCI Compliance? The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) are a set of requirements designed to establish a safe data environment for any organization that stores, processes, or transmits credit card data. Launched in 2006, PCI DSS aimed to address an increasing need to manage PCI security standards and reinforce account security over the transaction process. The PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) is the independent body formed by Visa, American Express, JCB, Discover, and MasterCard, to administer and manage PCI DSS.
How Can You Achieve PCI Compliance? Before your organization can be viewed as PCI compliant, you have to consistently meet the PCI DSS guidelines.
The PCI Data Security Standards are aimed at the following 6 major objectives:
- Create and maintain a secure network and systems.
- Secure cardholder information.
- Maintain a vulnerability management program.
- Execute robust access control measures.
- Routinely monitor and test networks.
- Maintain a data security policy.
Other than the six major objectives, PCI compliance includes 78 base requirements, 12 key requirements, and more than 400 test procedures.
What Are the 12 Key PCI Compliance Requirements?
- Use and Maintain Firewalls: Firewalls are a hugely successful primary defense line against any unauthorized access to your private information.
- Robust Password Protection: We recommend keeping a device/password inventory in a safe area and changing your passwords regularly.
- Secure Cardholder Data: Encrypt your business information and carry out routine scans to ensure no unencrypted information exists.
- Encrypt Transmitted Data: Even information sent to known locations has to be secured with robust encryption.
- Use and Maintain Anti — Virus: Each device that interacts with Primary Account Numbers (PAN) must be secured with updated antivirus software.
- Regularly Update Software: Other than antiviruses and firewalls, all other software pieces must be kept up-to-date.
- Limit Data Access: All cardholder information must be classified with a “need-to-know” label.
- Unique IDs for Access: This will fortify security and lower response time if your data is compromised.
- Restrict Physical Access: You have to store cardholder information in a safe area and log any entrance.
- Create and Maintain Access Logs: All activities involving cardholder information or PAN must be recorded.
- Scan and Test for Vulnerabilities: This will enable you to recognize potential vulnerabilities in your compliance efforts.
- Document Policies: You have to keep precise records of virtually everything. That includes access logs, hardware, software, authorized staff members, and so on.
Looking for the Most Reliable PCI Compliance Support in Atlanta and Charlotte?
Our capable compliance experts at 360 Smart Networks are ready to help you achieve PCI compliance and safeguard your sensitive cardholder data.
Contact us now to schedule your first consultation | (770) 518-7087 — Schedule A Consultation.