In order to stay competitive in the market, modern
businesses must incorporate credit card payments into their operations. Given
the rising incidents of credit card theft, identity fraud, and data breaches, it
is paramount to establish a secure environment for credit card transactions due
to the high demand for their usage. Mishandling this data can lead to a loss of
trust among customers, impacting both retailers and financial institutions as a
PCI compliance aids in ensuring the safety of every credit
card payment made by your company. No matter how big or small your firm is, it
must adhere to 12 operational and technical norms to safeguard cardholder data
and maintain a solid reputation. Here is all the information you require
regarding PCI compliance services and the significance of doing so.
An organisation's journey towards PCI compliance may seem like an endless tussle, with 12 specific prerequisites,
like installing firewalls, encrypting data, and creating policies. System
updates may also be required, including databases and firewalls; access to
sensitive data must only be permitted for those with a valid business need to
But this needn't be daunting!
Read on to learn more about PCI compliance and how to be
What is PCI compliance?
PCI compliance refers to adhering to the rules set by Visa,
MasterCard, American Express, and Discover in order to keep safe the customer
data a business is storing against theft and unauthorised usage. Any business
that processes credit card payments (transaction processors, merchants, data
centres, customer call centres, or e-commerce platforms) must abide by PCI DSS
Maintaining compliance requires taking multiple security
steps, including having secure processing networks, protecting stored data from
malware attacks, and creating an incident response plan. Businesses that fail
to comply may face fines and penalties from their credit card processors,
possibly leading them to lose the ability to accept cards altogether. They
could also face attorney general actions or class-action lawsuits over data
breaches. PCI Compliance Services help companies meet security requirements and
safeguard their systems, helping ensure compliance is maintained over time.
Compliance should be assessed regularly as the business evolves; for instance,
if an e-commerce company decides to open physical stores or expand into new
markets, they must change its POS system and assess security at each new store,
market, or region they enter.
What is the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)?
PCI Data Security Standards are a set of rules developed to
safeguard credit card transaction data against fraud. They apply to any
organisation that processes, stores, or transmits cardholder information, such
as primary account numbers (PAN), magnetic stripe data, or other sensitive
Compliance with PCI requires continuous assessment, review,
and correction of security gaps that could be exploited by cybercriminals. It
also involves creating an inventory of equipment, software, people, and data
that come into contact with card data while tracking access to this sensitive
Companies needing to be in compliance can incur steep fines
from their acquiring banks or card brands themselves. Non-compliant businesses
may see their merchant accounts terminated or transaction fees increase
significantly, with serious repercussions for both reputation and revenue loss
as a result of noncompliance. PCI compliance should therefore be an essential
goal of every organisation that processes cards; its requirements also help
increase overall security while meeting other regulations such as GDPR.
What are the PCI DSS requirements?
Encrypt data at rest and in transit.
All stored cardholder data must be encrypted using an
industry-accepted algorithm, and then further protected using truncation
tokenisation or hashing techniques as appropriate. Strong encryption key
management should also be in place.
Restrict access to cardholder data only to those who require it.
Staff and third parties that do not require direct access
should not have that right granted to them; those that need access should
receive individual IDs that cannot be shared among colleagues.
Requirement 11: Establish and Implement Firewall Protection
Firewalls provide an effective method of protecting card data by blocking
access from external entities that could compromise it, providing a first line
of defence against hackers while helping achieve PCI compliance.
How do I get started with PCI compliance?
Implementing firewalls, changing default passwords to more
secure ones, and keeping software updated are the things needed for creating a
secure processing network. In addition, encryption during transmission and at
rest protects cardholder data properly; following procedures for card storage
while also providing unique IDs to every user and tracking access logs are
additional safeguards against data breaches.
Requirement 8 emphasises protecting systems against malware.
This involves installing and updating antivirus software, using strong access
control measures, and creating an information security policy. For contact
centres that accept card payments over the phone, tokenisation provides an
effective solution that renders cardholder data unusable by hackers and
What Are PCI Compliance Services?
Companies that handle credit card data must meet certain
security standards to remain in compliance, such as creating security policies
and using software products that track any access to sensitive data.
Businesses should segment their data to keep non-cardholder
data out of the Cardholder Data Environment (CDE), encrypt data at rest and
ensure all systems are up to date. They must also perform regular PCI scans
through an authorised scanning vendor.
1. What is PCI Compliance?
PCI Compliance Services provide businesses with the people
and processes to meet the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI
DSS). Compliance isn't just a one-time event; rather, it must be assessed,
remediated and validated on an ongoing basis to maintain full compliance.
To comply with PCI DSS requirements, all systems that store,
process or transmit credit card data must be isolated from other parts of the
company network and all employees with access to sensitive information must be
assigned specific roles with documented permissions â€“ this can be achieved
using role-based access control (RBAC) tools.
Merchants should also maintain an inventory and logs for all
equipment and software with access to credit card data and log all activity
related to it. Digital Guardian's data discovery features can help merchants
keep tabs on everything related to cardholder information, while its RBAC
capabilities ensure only employees who require access have it.
2. What are the requirements of PCI Compliance?
PCI Compliance involves scanning and testing your system,
documenting how information flows in and out of your company, training all
employees on data security measures, using strong passwords that are regularly
updated and using strong authentication measures such as two-factor
The PCI Standards Council is responsible for developing
these standards and provides tools, measurements, frameworks, and resources
that organisations can utilise to protect data security. A data breach could
severely damage a business's reputation as well as its revenue stream â€“ so
remembering to abide by them could save your livelihood!
The PCI-DSS requires you to store cardholder data only in
specific places with tight controls over who can access it. Though these requirements
can seem cumbersome, they can be simplified with tools like Digital Guardian
that help discover and classify sensitive data for you, helping reduce PCI-DSS
scope and making compliance much simpler.
3. What are the benefits of PCI Compliance?
PCI Compliance can assist businesses in protecting the
security of credit card transaction data while helping to avoid costly fines or
the cancellation of payment processing privileges by payment brands. The
benefits that result from becoming compliant more than justify the effort
involved with complying.
Maintaining PCI Compliance can be a complex task for
businesses that process credit card payments, but it can be a manageable
burden. Many cloud platform services, ecommerce platforms, and payment
providers offer turnkey solutions that make adhering to PCI standards simpler
without spending hours and hours worrying over every detail.
One way to simplify PCI Compliance work is to encrypt
cardholder data (CHD). This ensures only those needing this information are
granted access, thereby helping reduce the scope for annual PCI audits.
4. What are the costs of PCI Compliance?
Compliance with PCI requires incurring various expenses.
This may include conducting an initial full assessment, remediating errors and
the ongoing cost of maintaining compliance â€“ however, the exact figure will
depend on your business size and complexity.
An audit for PCI compliance typically costs between $500 and
$1000, including the fee for a Qualified Security Assessor (QSA). This cost covers
reviewing your network, hardware and software as well as meeting with a QSA for
an in-person interview.
Once certified as compliant, ongoing costs will include
quarterly and annual vulnerability scans as well as costs associated with
closing any gaps identified during your gap analysis. You will also have to
cover any fines levied by payment brands in case of data breaches.
Some providers charge an individual PCI compliance fee,
while others include this cost in monthly account or processing rates. Some
even provide all-in-one PCI as a Service solutions that handle your entire
information security needs while eliminating additional costs for you.