PCI Compliance – What Is PCI DSS?

PCI compliance relates to PCI DSS, which stands for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards. This is a security standard that is applicable to all businesses and organisations that handle cardholder information. It was designed to reduce credit card fraud, which is a common casualty of a data breach. If you transmit, process, or store card data, you need to adhere to the twelve requirements that are in place. In more basic terms, if you take debit or credit card payments, no matter how frequently or infrequently, then yes this applies to you. Read on to discover all you need to know.

PCI Compliance For Retailers Who Outsource Card Processing

Is PCI compliance applicable to retailers that outsource card processing? There are no exceptions when it comes to PCI compliance for retailers; you still need to be concerned with PCI DSS. Firstly, despite the fact that you outsource card processing, you will still handle card data at some point, for example, when you process a return. Therefore, you still need to be compliant. Not only this, but you need to make sure the third-party processer is PCI compliant. It is up to you to determine that this is the case. A lot of company owners simply make the mistake of assuming that the company they outsource card processing to is compliant. Even if they say they are, go one step further and enquire about it. Ask about the efforts they make to comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards. It is in your efforts to find out about any network security solutions they have implemented, as it is your customers and your reputation that could suffer if a breach does occur. Don’t take anything for granted.

What Requirements Need To Be Met When It Comes To PCI Compliance For Merchants

In short, they are as follows: 

Build and maintain a secure network 

1. Install and maintain a firewall configuration 
2. Do not use system passwords and other vendor-supplied defaults 

Take the necessary steps to protect cardholder information 

3. Protect stored cardholder data
4. Encrypt transmitted cardholder data across open and public networks 

Implement and maintain a vulnerability management program 

5. Use and update antivirus software
6. Develop and maintain secure applications and systems 

Enforce strong control measures 

7. Restrict cardholder data access via business need-to-know
8. Assign a unique ID to all those with computer access
9. Restrict physical access to cardholder information 

Regularly monitor and test networks 

10. Track and monitor access to cardholder data and network resources
11. Frequently test security processes and systems 

Ensure an information security policy is maintained 

12. Maintain information security policy 

This gives you a brief overview of the twelve steps all businesses need to adhere to. But, this can be somewhat confusing, as there are many steps that need to be followed within each requirement. For a full breakdown, you can click here, which will take you to the breakdown of Section 1, and then you can work through the rest of the PCI compliance map.

What Happens If I Do Not Achieve PCI Compliance?

If you fail to achieve PCI compliance, you can find yourself facing huge fines, anything between £3,000 and £65,000. These fines are enforced by the acquiring bank and passed onto your company. The bank may terminate their contract with you. If not, they are almost certain to increase their transaction fees with you. And, that’s only the beginning, as you will have fraud losses, remediation costs, and a damaged reputation to deal with too. Consumers will see that you have not implemented the necessary network security that is required to protect their confidential information. This will result in a huge loss of trust, which can be very difficult to repair. You will need to work on building your business back up again. This can take a long time, and at the same time you will be dealing with the huge financial losses your business is facing. When you take this into account, it is not difficult to see why a lot of businesses have failed to come back from a breach. Effective cyber security measures are essential to protect the future of your company.

How Do I Make Sure I Pass The PCI Self Assessment Questionnaire?

Essentially, the PCI Self Assessment Questionnaire is what will determine whether your business is compliant or not, although some companies may be required to undergo further forms of testing and examination. You cannot simply fill in the questionnaire with the answers that you think the PCI DSS want to hear. You need to be truthful, and you need to be secure. If you have answered the SAQ incorrectly, and you suffer a data breach, the situation will become even worse, which is something no business can afford. So, how do you achieve PCI compliance? The best thing to do is seek outside assistance. The PCI DSS can be confusing, especially for those who have little experience in network security and data breaches. Therefore, it is best to leave it in the hands of the professionals and look for a solution that guarantees compliance, such as the one that is offered by Retail Secure. Our affordable and effective cloud-based cyber security solution, RetailCompli, can reduce the chance of a data breach at your business by a significant degree while also making sure you are compliant.

Achieve PCI Compliance With Retail Secure

Retail Secure can help you to achieve PCI compliance with our cyber security solution, RetailCompli. This is a PCI DSS Level 1 Certified Solution, and there are many different features we implement to protect your business. This includes the creation of a Cardholder Data Environment (CDE), which ensures all confidential information is segregated from everything else on the network. You will also benefit from easy output to the PCI Self Assessment Questionnaire. To find out more, simply head to our website, www.retailsecure.co.uk. You will see that we offer other services as well, such as connectivity solutions and legally compliant WiFi.

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