What do I Need to Know About PCI Compliance?

PCI stands for Payment Card Industry. The full term is Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) but most people know it as just PCI. PCI is a monitoring system that was developed by five of the biggest card companies in the world. It was created to protect businesses and consumers from card fraud by outlining card security requirements.

PCI compliance isn’t legally sanctioned. You can do business without having PCI approval, but having it is a big boost to consumer trust. And if customers know their data is safe on your website, then they’re more likely to buy from you. It’s good for business.  Additionally, some payment processors may require you be PCI compliant, and may impose fines if you fail to do so.

Recommendations for PCI are based on how many transactions a business carries out every year. There are four categories. You can review your business volume to see where your business is classed, then you can check the requirements for your PCI segment. The size of your business also determines your annual PCI fees. Fees range from $1,000 to $50,000.

Compliance tips for PCI

The most important part of PCI compliance is to maintain the security of your website. Your security measures should cover both technical aspects and human elements. Technical areas include software and hardware, while the human side is related to user ID and passwords.

Every employee that has access to your web portal must have their own individual user ID. They shouldn’t be shared because this leaves the system susceptible to unauthorised entry. If multiple team members have the same user credentials, there’s no way to trace exactly who logged in and made a mistake or breached the system.

There should also be a monitoring system of who accesses records at what time, from what terminal using which password. Knowing there’s a record will deter anyone with bad intentions. The record also helps the business to know the exact origin of breaches.

Use strong passwords

To enhance security, train your team on smart password use. They should never use defaults or passwords that are easy to guess like birthdays, middle names, pet names, or family members’ names. Aside from passwords, restrict the number of team members who can access sensitive customer data. It should be strictly need-to-know.

Make sure your system has a strong anti-virus and update it regularly. Your tech team should also carry out routine security checks to make sure no data has been compromised. You should also have a clear security policy, and all your team members must be familiar with it to avoid inadvertent security leaks.

The physical element of PCI compliance matters too. Team members shouldn’t have unnecessary access to the customer data. It must be guarded, both physically and digitally. Card holders’ data can be secured using a firewall and other forms of protective software. While the cost of PCI compliance may seem high, its business returns are worth the price.

For more information about PCI Compliance or to sign up for a merchant account, please call (888)924-2743 or go to Charge.com.

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