What You Need to Know About PCI Compliance

This post is intended to help you learn more about the requirements of PCI DSS or Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard and PCI Security Standards Council, which is an independent body that enforces and manages the PCI DSS.

The right definition of PCI Compliance

The PCI DSS is a short form of Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard. PCI Compliance is simply a set of requirements that are intended to ensure that every company that processes, transmits, or stores card information maintains an environment that is secure. Launched on September 2006, the PCI DSS ensures good management of PCI security stands and to also improve the general account security throughout the process of transaction.

The PCI SSC or PCI Security Standards Council, which was created by JCB, Discover, American Express, Visa, and MasterCard, is an independent body that manages and administers the PCI DSS. It is interesting to note that the PCI SSC payment brands as well as acquirers are the ones responsible for putting in for compliance, instead of the PCI SSS.

An Overview of the PCI SSC Data Security Standards

The main aim of the PCI SSC (Security Standards Council) is to enhance payment card security. In order to do so, the PCI SSC provides comprehensive standards along with supporting materials, which include support resources, specification frameworks, measurements, and tools to help organizations and companies ensure the cardholder’s information security at all times. Basically, the PCI DSS is regarded as the cornerstone of the PCI SSC because it provides the essential basis for developing a wide-ranging payment card data security process which encompasses detection, prevention, and appropriate reaction to any security invents.

Resources and Tools Available from PCI SSC

The following are the tools and resources provided by the PCI SSC to ensure compliance:

  • Self-Assessment Questionnaires to help organizations in validating that they are PCI DSS compliance. You will be required to complete the questionnaires yearly.
  • PA-DSS (Payment Application Data Security Standard) and a list of the Validated Payment Applications to assist software providers and others develop payment applications that are secure
  • PTS or PIN Transaction Security requirements for device manufacturers and vendors, as well as a list of approved PIN Transaction Security transaction devices
  • The public resources:
  • Approved Scanning Vendors (ASVs)
  • Lists of QSAs, or Qualified Security Assessors
  • ISA or Internal Security Assessor education program
  • PA-QSAs, or Payment Application Qualified Security Assessors

What are the Consequences of PCI Non-Compliance?

There are difficulties posed by failure to comply with the PCI standard requirements. In fact, PCI SSC specifies potentially disastrous results of PCI non-compliance. After working so hard to build your brand and to secure your customers, you should never be attempted to take a chance with their data or sensitive information. By ensuring that you are PCI compliant, you are literally protecting your customers. This will help you retain your customers and also acquire new ones. There are several possible results of PCI Non-Compliance. Some of them include:

  • Damaging your reputation severely, which will also damage your ability to effectively conduct business, not only today, but also into the future
  • Compromised data that negatively impacts financial institutions, consumers, and merchants
  • Lawsuits, payment card issuer fines, cancelled accounts, government fines, and insurance claims
  • Account data breaches that can potentially lead to disastrous loss of community standing, sales, and relationships. Also, data breaches often make public companies to see depressed share prices because of the lost reputation

Just like other regulatory requirements, PCI Compliance can pose challenges to those organizations that are not fully prepared to handle protection of critical information. But ten again, protection of data is usually a much more manageable task provided there is the right services and software. Ensure that you are choosing a data loss prevention software which calcifies data accurately and uses that data appropriately. That way, you will Ave peace of mind knowing very well that your cardholder data is safe and secure. For instance, you can always choose a POS System like clover point of sale system as your solution for your payment solutions. But still, you should also ensure that you are remaining PCI-Compliant at all times.

There are also very many benefits that come with ensuring PCI Compliance. For instance, it ensures that all your systems are secure. And because of that, you will earn trust of your customers and they will continue doing business with you.

Improve your reputation today by meeting all the PCI DSS Compliance requirements.

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