Data security is a top priority in today’s businesses, as a data breach can cause extensive issues for operations. From data loss and downtime to loss of revenue, the ramifications can and should be prevented — stopping a breach before it happens is much easier than dealing with the fallout. Among types of data that should be secured, personal information that is acquired when processing credit card payments online is a top priority.
The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) outlines the payment security standards that apply to all sellers that accept, store, process, and transmit customers’ data during a credit card transaction. Any business with a merchant ID that accepts credit and debit cards must follow PCI-compliance regulations to protect their clients against data breaches. If your business accepts credit card transactions, no matter the amount or volume, these standards apply to you.
Obtain PCI Compliance
Comprehensive PCI-compliance can appear to be a daunting task, but much of it involves security practices that your business should adopt and maintain, regardless of your PCI-compliance status. Assessing, validating, and maintaining your PCI-compliance status should be done on a yearly basis and involves a Self Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ). A quarterly PCI Security Scan may also be required.
It is the business’s responsibility to maintain compliance. A company that is not PCI-complaint can incur expensive fees and loss of bank relationships. In addition, they are vulnerable to security breaches that can cause a host of security issues and profit loss. PCI-compliance is not something that can be ignored.
Planning is essential
Achieving every step involved in PCI-compliance cannot be accomplished overnight, so each business should have a customized plan to assess and achieve compliance in every area necessary. Obtaining the right partners and organizing a compliance plan are great first steps. Consider payment processors that use encryption and tokenization, work with financial institutions that you trust, store sensitive payment information offsite on PCI-compliant servers, and use an IT partner that understands the security measures involved in PCI-compliance.
Fortunately, the steps towards PCI-compliance are beneficial to the security of any business. Implementing firewalls, assessing vulnerabilities, and implementing a full IT security plan will not only enhance your business’ overall security but will contribute to achieving and maintaining the PCI-compliance standards.
SingularisIT understands the importance of PCI-compliance
as well as
the safety and security of all the sensitive information involved in running your business. We provide several services that maintain overall data security and protect you in the event of a data disaster. We recognize that PCI-compliance is a complicated process and that is why we provide a comprehensive PCI DSS “Cheat Sheet”
to help you better understand the standards that apply to your business.