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4 Signs that You’re Out of PCI Compliance

Compliance with the standards set by the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Security Standards Council can be cumbersome and flat out difficult. And the punishment for non-compliance can be stiff penalties and fines – or even worse, non-compliance could allow a hacker or data thief to get into your company’s systems and steal critical data from you or your customers. To avoid these unsavory outcomes, it is best to make sure that your business gets PCI compliant and maintain that compliance status. It is critical that you know if your company is PCI compliant so that you can keep your business protected from fines and hackers alike. Here are some of the ways that you can know if your business is not compliant. If any of these signs describe your business, then it is time to make a change and get back into compliance.

You Store Cardholder Data

Storing cardholder data means that you have highly sensitive information that can be stolen on your systems. To maintain PCI compliance, you should not save or store any cardholder data, whether in digital or written form. To avoid storing cardholder data, you can use a card reader, POS terminal, or a payment processor that doesn’t retain that information. That way, you don’t have to think about protecting or encrypting that data on your systems.

You Don’t Have A Separate Network For Payment Processing

PCI compliance can put extra pressure and security measures on your network. That’s why it is a good idea to have a separate system for your regular business connection just for payment processing. This is especially relevant if you are using IP-based credit card terminals.

You Don’t Automatically Log Customers Out

When your customers log in and make a purchase, they might be doing so on a public computer or at a public kiosk. When they leave that computer, they might forget to log out, allowing another person to stumble upon their open session and make unauthorized purchases. Make sure that you avoid these kinds of scenarios by automatically logging your users out of their sessions after a set period. If for example, users are automatically logged out after five minutes being idle, you have a significantly higher chance of stopping unauthorized purchases.

Your Employees Don’t Have Unique Login Information

To be PCI compliant, all of your employees need to have their unique login information for sensitive systems. That way, if there an issue, you know which employee was responsible.

Three Most Important Facts About Regulatory Compliance

When it comes to regulatory compliance, even the most enthusiastic managers can quickly get bored. It’s not hard to see why—regulatory compliance can be a long and frustrating process if you are trying to stay compliant without any professional help. Because regulatory compliance is so complex, it can be difficult to understand some of the legal concepts behind the process. That’s why we’ve broken down the three most important facts, so that you can easily know what’s vital to your business without having to pore over dozens of policy documents or looking through legalese.

  1. You Need Physical and Digital Security Policies

Sure, digital security policies get all of the press. And they are absolutely critical to your company’s regulatory compliance, as well as your long term success. But you need physical security policies too. You need to specific which employees are allowed physical access to particular facilities. This includes guests and vendors too—you have to be able to know who is able to access server rooms and other rooms that house critical IT infrastructure. These policies breed accountability. In order to uphold these physical security policies, you can use key codes, badges, or other ways to regulate access.

  1. Compliance Issues Must Be Relayed To Employees

Because regulatory compliance issues are so complex, it can be difficult to make them seem relevant and purposeful to employees. But if your regulatory compliance efforts are to succeed, you must let your employees know the importance of compliance and train them to make sure that they are up to date. The best way to do this isn’t to throw complex legalese at them, but to use simpler terms. Compliance isn’t always black and white, there are always grey areas, and your employees need to know what is expected of them when they encounter a grey area.

  1. There Are Hidden Benefits To Compliance

Often, it is assumed that there are no benefits to regulatory compliance other than avoiding fines and penalties. That isn’t true. There are hidden benefits to compliance that your business can take advantage of. Compliant businesses are more up to date on industry trends, and generally have more streamlined employee processes, where employees know what the appropriate decisions are. Compliance can improve standardization across your business, which can ultimately result in greater efficiency as well. Businesses that are compliant tend to have greater transparency, with workers at all levels—from the top down—more aware of what is expected of them.