The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)

While running a business, if you accept cashless payments, particularly through plastic cards, you need to know how important it is to secure your consumers’ data. Unfortunately, the rate of credit card fraud in the U.S. is very high; 47% of the world’s credit card frauds occur in America, Barclay reported in 2015.

However, a recent report reveals that EMV integration lowered counterfeit fraud by 80% in September 2018. Furthermore, for improved security and better transparency in regards to online payments, the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) was introduced in 2006.

The PCI DSS entails a set of standards for entities that accept card payments to ensure all the cashless transactions are executed in a secure environment. In other words, the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard is designed to secure consumers’ credit card information that is being processed, stored, or transmitted by businesses.

No matter what industry your business deals in, if you accept card payments, it’s best to secure your customers’ data through PCI compliance.

Benefits of Complying with PCI DSS

As mentioned earlier, the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard was launched in 2006 to strengthen the security measures for cardholder’s data, when 40 million credit cards were compromised. Well, there is no doubt that it was a great step to regain the trust of consumers.

If you’re not sure about integrating PCI DSS standards into your business, here are the benefits that you will enjoy by being PCI-compliant.

•    If implemented correctly, i.e., by fulfilling the 12 requirements, you can undoubtedly protect cardholders’ data. A report by Verizon shows that full compliance with PCI DSS has significantly reduced credit card frauds by 50%.
•    Integrating PCI DSS standards into your business will build customers’ trust; they will feel comfortable while making card transactions at your store.
•    With making a strong commitment to protecting cardholders’ data, you will be able to build a better relationship with your customers.
•    Complying with PCI DSS will build consumer loyalty to your business. As a result, you will have more transactions, customers, and hence more profit.

Requirements to become PCI Compliant

Now that you know the benefits that come with PCI DSS compliance, you would be thinking about the requirements. Fortunately, we are listing down the 12 requirements set by the PCI Security Standards Council.

  1. Protect your systems with a firewall to protect the card data environment.
  2. Create and update unique passwords and don’t use vendor-supplied default passwords.
  3. The stored card data should be encrypted using a robust encryption key management process.
  4. The transmission of cardholder data across public networks should be done in an encrypted manner with added security measures, like card validation codes and PINs.
  5. Ensure to run an updated anti-virus regularly on your systems to protect it from malware.
  6. Update and patch your systems regularly.
  7. Allow access to cardholder’s data only to a limited number of employees.
  8. Assign a unique I.D. and login passwords to each employee that has computer access.
  9. Make sure to restrict the physical access to your workplace and cardholder data.
  10. Track and monitor all the activities conducted around network sources and cardholder data.
  11. System processes and security should be tested regularly.
  12. Organizations should maintain a solid information security policy with risk analysis processes, documentation, and uses of technology, etc.

In Conclusion

Although PCI compliance is not mandatory in the U.S., some state laws refer to integrate PCI compliance for ensured security. Nevertheless, making your organization PCI-compliant will help prevent data breaches while enhancing your credibility. Considering that, it’s reasonable to say that PCI DSS compliance can help your business flourish.

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