What You Need to Know About PCI Compliance
With the growth of cashless transactions, cards are by far the most preferred method of payment by many customers. Therefore, if you handle card data, you’ll need to know and comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).
In a nutshell, PCI DSS is an industry-standard regulation that ensures that all businesses or entities collecting, storing, or transmitting credit/debit card information do so in a secure environment.
The regulation has been in effect at least from September 7, 2006, and the PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) manages and administers the rules. Notwithstanding, the payment brands (e.g., Visa, MasterCard, etc.) are responsible for enforcing these rules. The PCI SSC avails most of the materials needed for ensuring that you become compliant.
8 Requirements You Need to Tick to Become PCI DSS Compliant
- Firewalls: Using a firewall ensures that any unauthorized or malicious person attempting to gain access to the private card data can be detected and denied access.
- Password Protection: Ensure any device, software, or system involved in collecting, processing, or storing card data is adequately protected by a password — don’t leave devices with default passwords.
- Encryption of Cardholder Data: Encryption ensures that even if the data gets into the wrong hand, it cannot be read unless the person gains access to the encryption key. This includes data at rest and in transmission.
- Up–to-date Software and Antivirus: Ensure that all software/programs that handle card data are continually updated with the latest security or improvement patches. Likewise, your devices should always run an up-to-date antimalware and antivirus program.
- Restriction of Data Access (Electronically and Physically): As a rule of thumb, only a few people in your organization that need the card data should have access to it. Physically, the room, computers, or hard drives containing the data should be locked in a privilege-only location.
- Have Unique Access IDs and Maintain Access Logs: Every person with access to the sensitive card data should be able to be uniquely identified, and at no point should a person use the access ID of another to access data. Besides, create and maintain automatic logs showing who, when, etc., the data is accessed.
- Risks or Vulnerability Assessment: Frequently scan systems and measures in place to identify new vulnerabilities that pose a threat to the data.
- Complete Documentation: Keep a clean and updated inventory of all devices, software, and people accessing the data as well as access logs.
While this might seem challenging, it can be seamless if you partner with an IT provider. Why walk on eggshells concerning your PCI compliance when we can help?