Everything You Need to Know About PCI Compliance

If your business wants to accept credit cards, then you’ll need to ensure you meet with Payment Card Industry (PCI) standards to ensure the security of your customer’s data.  You don’t need us to tell you how important it is that your organization keeps its customer’s credit card data secure. It’s a huge issue, as failure to do so could cause irreparable damage to your brand. If your organization suffers data breach that results in customer’s information being stolen, it will almost certainly spell the end for your business. Your organization will be in the headlines for all the wrong reasons, and it’ll be nigh on impossible to repair the damage to your reputation among consumers.  Be sure you know your PCI compliance basics in order to keep your customer’s credit card data safe and secure.
What is PCI Compliance?
PCI compliance refers to a set of guidelines for businesses to follow when they process payments via credit card. These guideline cover all of the major credit cards, including Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express and indeed all of these providers mandate their use. If your company process credit card payments from these providers it must comply with PCI standards – failure to do so can lead to heavy punishments, including substantial fines and even jail time for company directors.
What Does Being PCI Compliant Mean?
There are 12 key requirements in the PCI Data Security Standard, and businesses need to comply with each of them in order to be considered “PCI compliant”. Each of the requirements addresses an important area of information security, as listed below:
  1. Install and maintain a firewall configuration to protect cardholder data
  2. Do not use vendor-supplied defaults for system passwords and other security parameters
  3. Protect stored cardholder data
  4. Encrypt transmission of cardholder data across open, public networks
  5. Protect all systems against malware and regularly update anti-virus software or programs
  6. Develop and maintain secure systems and applications
  7. Restrict access to cardholder data by business’s need to know
  8. Identify and authenticate access to system components
  9. Restrict physical access to cardholder data
  10. Track and monitor all access to network resources and cardholder data
  11. Regularly test security systems and processes
  12. Maintain a policy that addresses information security for all personnel
Helping you Meet PCI Compliance
At Cognoscape, one of the key aspects of our services is ensuring that your business is PCI compliant. As a first step, we’ll look at your network to see if it meets basic standards for security. If not, we’ll work to make sure that it does, and we’ll maintain it so it stays that way. We’ll also install software that guarantees customer’s credit card data is secure and encrypted when transferred to and from the network.
Another key step is to make sure your systems cannot be breached. PCI compliance standards require that companies maintain something called a vulnerability management system, which incorporates security measures such as antivirus and firewalls. In addition, PCI compliance means regularly testing security systems and processes. Companies are required to monitor all access to networks and cardholder data to ensure that it remains secure, and all of this ongoing work will be carried out by Cognoscape.
Cognoscape works closely with its clients to ensure their IT systems and practices never violate laws around PCI compliance. We make it our business to stay up to date with all the latest requirements, so we can ensure that you’re ready to make any changes as the government requires them.
If you need help with PCI compliance, give us a call today and let’s make sure you’re providing your customers with the protection they deserve.