Why PCI Compliance Is Strongly Recommended For Online Businesses

It can be really challenging to own and run a business. If your business accepts credit or debit cards, then you probably understand that there must be a balance between the convenience of a cashless payment method and the protection of the customers’ private data.

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) came about as a solution developed by the different major credit card companies in order to guide the merchants in implementing systems, including procedures and equipment, to easily process transactions in a safe and secure manner. The PCI DSS underlines security requirements that you as a merchant have to follow to securely store, process, and exchange cardholder information. Such a standard was put in place to minimise incidents of credit card fraud and hacking as well as to boost consumer confidence in e-commerce, with the assurance of having their personal and financial data kept secure and private.

In order for your business to avoid incurring penalties or even losing its ability to accept card payments, it has to be PCI compliant. In order to get PCI DSS certification for your business, you need to meet some requirements.

First, you need to uphold customer privacy. To do this, you must not store complete credit card numbers once processed. They shouldn’t be displayed on sales receipts, either. You should store customer account and transaction data separately and limit access to them to authorised personnel only. Once the transaction is finished, you must not store card verification numbers.

Besides these, you should also purge magnetic stripe data from any of your records, software, and equipment that were used to process the transaction. Go through PCI compliance validation. This involves, among other things, annually completing a self-assessment questionnaire as well as having Internet-connected processing systems scanned quarterly by an authorised third party service provider.

Additionally, you need to keep your website secure. Make sure you have firewalls installed with all apps and security patches kept current. Regularly change passwords for various systems and equipment. Encrypt data before sending over to public networks.

Limit access to authorised staff members, and assign different user IDs and passwords to keep track of data access. Keeping your business transactions as secure as possible and making your business compliant to the standards of the PCI DSS will benefit both your company and your customers. Not only do you end up protecting your business from fraudulent activity, you also manage to inspire your customers’ confidence by providing them with a safe shopping environment

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