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Is Your Business PCI Compliant?

Posted by on Mar 7, 2016 12:24:00 PM

PCI Compliant

2016 will mark the tenth year since the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council—including American Express, Discover, JCB International, MasterCard and Visa—created the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). The purpose of the PCI DSS is to better secure credit and debit card transactions to prevent card fraud from taking place both in-store and online as well as protecting cardholders’ personal information from possible data breaches.

What Is PCI Compliance?

PCI compliance is attained by merchants when they meet these standards set by the PCI Security Standards Council. Every business that accepts credit cards and debit cards should learn more about what PCI stands for and how a business can be PCI compliant in order to fulfill these requirements. You should have the best merchant services company to further explain these standards and provide you with qualified credit card processing solutions.


There are six objectives and twelve requirements to meet them, as listed by the PCI Security Standards Council.

1. “Build and Maintain a Secure Network and Systems”

To have a safe network for your customers’ data, it’s important to install and continuously update a firewall with both hardware and software to prevent unauthorized people from accessing that vital information. It’s vital not to use vendor-supplied defaults for system passwords because the network won’t be as protected as it should be.

2. “Protect Cardholder Data”

Imagine the effect a data breach would have on your customers. They will feel violated and angry. Not only will their personal information be in the wrong hands, but they may also not want to do business with you any longer. This is why keeping consumer card information protected is so important. In order to do this, you have to successfully conceal their cardholder data across public networks.

3. “Maintain a Vulnerability Management Program”

Similarly to building and maintaining a secure network, you should also obtain anti-virus software to protect your network from computer viruses, worms and spyware. In addition, you must create network systems and applications. Remember, it’s critical not just to install these applications, but to stay up-to-date on all of the latest versions. Technology is constantly changing, so you don’t want to create a secure system and then forget about it until an issue arises.

4. “Implement Strong Access Control Measures”

You closely regulate who has admission to cardholder data whether it’s physically in their hands or through your business’ network.  To do this successfully, every employee who uses the computer should have a personalized ID so each one can be easily identified if he logs into the network and subsequently steals information.

5. “Regularly Monitor and Test Networks”

You should manage who has access to your business’ network and customer data by testing your security systems regularly to make sure they are adequately equipped to protect your cardholders’ information.

6. “Maintain an Information Security Policy”

All businesses have certain policies that employees must adhere to, whether it’s a dress code or a code of ethics, but you must adopt an effective information security policy to be PCI compliant. This way, you can always refer to it if necessary. But like many of the requirements on this list, developing an information security policy is an ever-green project. You must plan on going back periodically to make upgrades as time goes by.

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