PCI Compliance

PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) compliance has become a necessity for any business, and rightly so; however implementation is a lengthy procedure, and an ever evolving process that often involves invasive processes, interrogative procedures, system upgrades and tedious check-ups.

Non-compliance can cripple a business and frankly is not worth the risk. If your business is found to be non-compliance you will face hefty fines- as well as an uphill battle to rebuild customer trust.

So how can you make this difficult process easier?

Don’t store cardholder data

One of the easiest things you can do to simplify the compliance process is to ensure that no payment information is stored in written or digital form. The most effective way is by using a secure payment processor, that doesn’t retain this information on your systems so you won’t have to worry about protecting and encrypting that data. It is important to check with payment vendors for details on their particular models.

PCI compliant web host

If you process transactions via your website, ensure that you choose a PCI compliant Web hosting plan. Some hosted network instantly encrypts the credit card data, and securely transmits the payment to your chosen payment provider. The system doesn’t retain any sensitive credit card data within the network.

Maintain a vulnerability program

It is essential that you regularly update anti-virus software and programs. Data security should be a priority, and credit card fraud in the UK alone cost the industry in the excess of £450 000 000 every year! Up-to-date security is essential! Although the PCI audits only come round once a year it is important you regularly test and update security processes.

Consider outsourcing

Considering the amount of money you will spend to become PCI Compliant on things such as system upgrades, regular external audits, and clean room environments; you might just want to make it somebody else’s problem. So as not to create a new PCI compliance headache for you, most companies save time and money getting someone else to do it for them.

As PCI standards are constantly evolving and changing it can be very difficult to stay on top of it all, this article has only provided a few tips, and although they can make a significant difference they are not the complete package. Becoming PCI DSS compliant is an essential process-but one that is worth it. Don’t run the risk!