Contactless debit and credit cards help us a lot these days, it’s relaxing. Every step you take, from marketing strategy to production, has a significant impact on your business. You probably put a lot of effort into these plans. But have you ever wondered how PCI DSS compliance can help your business succeed? A recent study found that global organizations’ PCI DSS compliance rates have increased; This means that half of retailers, restaurants, hotels, and other businesses meet the requirements to meet these standards. Nearly a fifth of organizations are not compliant with the defined scope and purpose of the standards, so it’s important to familiarize yourself with PCI technology services, knows the key benefits of being compliant with these standards, and understand what they give you as a business owner. The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard is a set of requirements developed by the international payment systems VISA, MasterCard, American Express, JCB and Discover to ensure the security of credit card user data. This standard is a list of informative requirements for security management systems, network infrastructure, policies, procedures, software development, and other key measures to reliably protect cardholder data. The requirements of the standard are primarily aimed at the compliance of financial institutions, merchants, and service providers that store, transfer, or process cardholder data. The key tasks of the research carried out within the framework of the standards relate to network infrastructure, physical security measures, information technology infrastructure, software, and internal policies of companies. Based on the results of the audit, the company’s specialists prepare a report on the compliance of the IT systems and processes developed and implemented by your company with the recommendations and requirements of the PCI-DSS standard, after successful completion of this, you are issued a certificate of compliance with the PCI-DSS standard.
Five key benefits of PCI DSS compliance:
Key Benefit 1. Build mutual trust with customers
The presence of the phenomenon of trust is an important, key basis for successful e-commerce. Your customers trust you to send them the products they purchased, as well as securely transmit and process their payment information!
Key Benefit 2. Reliable data leakage prevention
Data adequacy and control is a key aspects when creating a multi-functional IT infrastructure, especially when handling or storing sensitive customer data. Merchants must use more robust firewalls that perform encryption processes and cannot store cardholder data, making any PCI-compliant business a poor target for cybercriminals. This will not only make hacking the network more difficult but also reliably protect all confidential data!
Key Benefit 3. PCI standards enable you to meet all applicable global data security requirements
PCI DSS current version regulations are applied worldwide to ensure the most effective level of protection required for consumers by requiring merchants to maintain a minimum level of security when storing, processing, and transmitting cardholder data. PCI compliance sets you apart from other international data protection and consumer protection providers and companies.
Key Benefit 4. Safety first
PCI DSS compliance requires multiple layers of security through well-structured firewalls. You also need a holistic IT security strategy that scales with current threats and monitors your network for unpatched vulnerabilities and outdated updates. IT security services such as endpoint security, WatchGuard advanced firewalls, or vulnerability assessment can meet applicable PCI requirements.
Key Benefit 5. Create a framework for further adjustments
Whether you’re Level 1, 2, 3, or 4, achieving PCI DSS compliance means you’re taking significant steps to protect your customers’ data. Some basic assumptions of PCI DSS, such as measures to limit the amount of sensitive data stored to comply with GDPR, ISO, and other mandatory international data security regulations. Implementing PCI compliance for SMBs can be a complex, time-consuming process, but managed service providers are great partners to help.
The most important condition for the activity of payment service providers is the security of financial transactions. A unique solution that protects entrepreneurs from fraudulent operations, and customers from dubious sellers and services. It’s important to take all the necessary security measures in the field of payment cards to ensure you are PCI DSS and PCI compliant, understand what compliance requirements you need, why you need fraud prevention technologies, and how all this affects the final decision of customers to work with you.
What is PCI DSS and how do I get one?
The popularity of cashless online payments is growing every year, in some countries it already exceeds 80% of the total number of annual financial transactions. However, with the increase in the number of bank card transactions, this area is becoming increasingly attractive to a large number of cybercriminals. Protection of funds on card accounts is becoming an increasingly urgent task. The PCI DSS standard contains 12 important, detailed requirements for organizations that work with BOD data, such as banks, merchants, financiers, and various payment gateways. This means that all payment card transactions must carefully comply with PCI DSS requirements. It is important to know the key points of compliance with the PCI DSS standard to ensure the security of information structures:
- Network infrastructure protection using firewalls;
- Correct setting of the system access password;
- Ability to reliably protect sensitive data stored in your system (payment card numbers and other important confidential data) using various cryptographic methods such as encryption, masking, hashing, and other available options;
- Safe encryption of all confidential information when using open transmission paths;
- Protection of computer systems from malicious code and regular updating of important anti-virus tools;
- You can quickly eliminate vulnerabilities found in IT systems;
- Ensure that only authorized personnel have access to sensitive data;
- Fully control access to critical systems through identification and authentication processes;
- Only designated employees to have physical access to the payment cardholder database;
- Manage session access to cardholder data and network resources;
- Regular review of security systems and processes to quickly identify new vulnerabilities;
- Implementation of a strict information security policy for company employees;
- The International Payment System (IPS) has developed its requirements for proving compliance with PCI DSS standards.
PCI compliance requirements
If your organization’s business processes involve the processing, storage, or transmission of data, you must comply with all PCI DSS requirements. There are currently four levels of PCI compliance. The number of card transactions made in one year determines the success of the company’s authentication process. It is the most difficult to pass the first level certification. This is critical for organizations that process more than 6 million transactions per year. Tier 2 applies to organizations with 1-6 million transactions, and Tier 3 is limited to 20,000-1 million transactions per year. Tier four is the simplest and is available to organizations that process 20,000 or fewer transactions per year. Note that companies that use Visa and Mastercard cards are annually checked for compliance with PCI-DSS, then receive a certificate in case of successful verification of compliance with PCI-DSS standards.
Security and privacy during financial transactions are key points in the industry of reliable payment services. It is extremely important to ensure a high level of payment security, for this, it is necessary to use all the latest methods of personal data protection and to undergo annual security certification according to PCI DSS international standards because this is very important for payment services. PCI DSS-compliant organizations must take personal data seriously. This is embodied in the following six official points: corporate networks must be reliably protected, and data traffic must be filtered through firewalls. Customer data processing areas should be divided into different segments. A virtual machine should perform only one server function. This is necessary so that multiple functions that require different levels of protection cannot run on the same virtual machine. Such systems make it difficult for potential hackers to gain access to the entire system. Passwords on your network should be strong and not standardized. One of the most important requirements of PCI DSS is that information must be securely encrypted on the network using a 128-bit or higher-bit key. Organizations should use the latest anti-virus software. In addition, the process of updating vulnerable software must be documented. Access to critical parts of the infrastructure – only with the help of multi-factor authentication. Physical access to servers where customer data is stored must be restricted accordingly. All transactions in the infrastructure must always be logged. This is necessary to quickly detect traces of cyber hacking. Regularly audit your infrastructure for security holes. An explanation of the company’s information security policy is required. It is necessary to determine the general policy and procedures for access to the personal data of users. It is also important to plan what to do in the event of a cyber attack. All these documents should be updated annually as the company grows.
How can I obtain a PCI DSS compliance certificate?
You have two options: complete everything yourself or have an external QSA audit. You can solve the problems yourself in two cases: a service provider whose number of transactions per year does not exceed 300,000. When the number of transactions does not exceed 1 million per year. In other cases, you need to contact an appropriate expert who checks the company’s internal information security policy, instructions, and other internal documents to implement them in practice. Then a test hacking attack is performed on the infrastructure. The purpose of this is to find weak points. After the successful completion of both stages, experts evaluate the technical condition of the network and its compliance with PCI DSS requirements. Software, network architecture, operating system configuration, etc. Relevance is assessed. Minor violations found in this section can be corrected immediately.