PCI DSS: What Are the Compliance Requirements?
Your customers can have confidence in your business because your experience and your history of success is proof. Your experience in payment card data security is far more limited.
Every business that accepts credit or debit card payments assumes liability when it comes to data transmission in a payment transaction. Are you clear on what that involves?
Are You PCI DSS Compliant?
The documentation is out there – you just have to make your way through it, then understand it. After that, the rest is easy, right
If only it were that simple.
Consumers are responsible for nearly $4 trillion in annual payment card transactions, with that number increasing every year. In addition to money, every transaction contains sensitive information like personal details about cardholders’ identity which needs to be encrypted and securely stored and transmitted.
What is PCI DSS?
Data security is crucial to protecting cardholder data. Major credit card companies agreed on the need for uniform standards. As an independent oversight body, the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council was formed in 2006 and outlined a set of requirements for all businesses that process payment card transactions.
These requirements, known as Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS), focus on ensuring cardholder data and account security are protected to make sure the threat of credit card fraud is minimized.
What Does It Mean to Be Compliant?
Compliance is a challenging process and because every business is different, compliance requirements aren’t a one-size-fits-all set of guidelines.
PCI DSS outlines six major objectives, nearly 80 base requirements, and over 400 test procedures involving:
- Maintaining a secure IT environment, including systems and network
- Measures to protect cardholder data, including encryption
- Processes to identify and address security vulnerabilities and weaknesses
- Procedures outlined for strong access control
- Monitor and test networks regularly
- Maintain and routinely update data security policies
If that’s not clear enough, there’s the Quick Reference Guide, covering the highlights of what businesses should know about PCI DSS compliance in less than 40 pages – not exactly a fast read. While it does break down some of the information into sectional overviews, it’s still up to every business to meet requirements for all payment card transactions. Only then can data be transmitted securely and minimize the risk of cardholders’ financial account information exposure. Beyond the Quick Reference Guide, there’s also a Document Library for more “light reading”, including the full PCI DSS requirements.
Are You PCI DSS Compliant?
Compliance is a complicated and confusing process – but it doesn’t have to be. There are resources to help businesses navigate the compliance process, providing support at every step to make sure your payment card transactions are secure and your data is safeguarded. Security gaps and vulnerabilities can lead to data breaches, resulting in credit card fraud, identity theft, and so many more expensive outcomes.
Meeting the requirements and being PCI DSS compliant means your business is protected and your payment card transactions are safe, boosting consumer confidence in yet another area of your relationship.
What’s your next step?