Learn Everything You Need to Know About PCI DSS Compliance in This Quick Guide

When you run a business, it’s not only your products or services that you need to pay attention to. Apparently, you also have other responsibilities to ensure the safety of your customers’ data and one of them is to comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, also known as PCI DSS.

However, like other legal matters, this can also be a bit complex, especially for business owners who are new to the industry. If you’re also one of the newbies who feel quite lost about PCI compliance, here are helpful answers to your questions for you to understand everything about PCI DSS.

What is PCI DSS?

Also known simply as PCI, the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard is a set of requirements that are meant to ensure that organizations are able to keep a secure environment for cardholders regardless of their revenue, as well as credit card transaction volume.

What Are the Compliance Requirements?

Security for cardholders’ data is important. This way, no one will fall victim to identity theft, scams, and more. As a merchant, it is a must to help them protect their data. And you can do that by complying with PCI DSS requirements.

For starters, there are 12 requirements of PCI DSS that are both technical and operational:

  • Installation and maintenance of firewall configuration
  • Zero use of vendor-supplied defaults for security parameters
  • Stored cardholder data protection
  • Encryption of cardholder data across networks
  • Usage and maintenance of antivirus programs or software
  • Development and maintenance of secure systems and apps
  • Restriction of access to cardholder data
  • Assignment of a unique ID to every person with computer access
  • Restriction of physical access to cardholder data
  • Monitoring access to cardholder data and network resources
  • Regular testings of security systems and processes
  • Maintenance of information security policy for every personnel

However, non-pros can find some of the steps to do on their own. Hence, according to PCI wizards from this link, consulting seasoned service providers will be a big help. This way, you’re sure that you’re able to check every requirement on the list.

Aside from a less stressful compliance process, doing so will help you have more time and energy to focus on more important matters in your organization. Hence, you’re able to provide better service for your market.

What If You Don’t Comply?

PCI isn’t actually a law in itself. It’s merely a standard that major card brands like MasterCard and Visa created.

But, you will be fined from $5,000 – $1000,000 a month for violating the requirements or data breaches. You may be subjected to additional penalties from your bank too.

When a violation is committed, the public will not be aware of it, though. Yet, it can still cause a blow to your business, particularly financially.

What Will You Gain if You Comply?

The purpose of PCI compliance is, basically, to reduce the risk of data loss in order to keep your customers’ information safe and secured. But, that’s not the only reason why you should comply with PCI DSS.

Apparently, by making efforts to protect your customers’ data, you can also gain your customers’ trust, which is important in running a business. If your consumers trust you enough, you’re sure that they will be more loyal to your brand.

Of course, by complying, you can also avoid fines from your bank. And, depending on where the breach occurred and who has it affected, governments can also impose penalties. European Union’s new data protection regulation provisions, of instance, you could be fined up to €20 million.

While your violation may not be publicized by the authorities, the fines you’d have to pay could still greatly impact your business.

When you’re sure that you’re able to comply with the requirements of PCI DSS, needless to say, you’ll have peace of mind. Since you’re sure that your customers’ data is safe, you can sleep soundly at night, knowing that you won’t have to worry about being fined or if your customers still trust you.

Should You Be PCI Compliant?

Yes. While in some places, PCI compliance isn’t required by the government, it’s still a good idea to comply with the standard because through this, you can gain more perks for your business. Besides, it’s easier to comply today.

PCI DSS compliance seems a bit complex for some, especially for those who’ve just ventured out into the business world. But, the more you know, the more you can use it to your advantage and avoid confusion. Thankfully, there are also service providers who can offer assistance for compliance.

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