PCI Compliance for Small to Medium-Size Businesses
Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard Conditions apply to all the companies and business entities who use non-cash based payment methods such as credit cards, ATMs, debit cards, etc. Storing, processing and transmitting cardholder data requires utmost care and security for the well-being of the company and the cardholder and PCI Compliance is here to ensure that. The primary objective of this compliance is to promote safe transactions and keep hackers and malware intrusions at bay. The general requirement of implementing procedures advised by the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard also prevents unauthorized access, security breaches, and identity theft. Those companies and business entities who peruse the practice of non-cash payments and are not following the standards set by the PCI DSS will face dire consequences and will be subject to legal penalties.
Hence, here are the ten fundamental conditions laid out by the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard or PCI DSS compliances terms to maintain a global forum for the ongoing research and development, enhancement, storage, dissemination and the implementation of security standards for account data protection.
What is PCI DSS
Strong Password Polices
When software is installed for a company or business entity, it comes equipped with default passcodes and system based passwords. These initial privacy settings are built into the system software to make it more user-friendly, and the option to change the passcodes as per requirements is available. Hence companies are obligated to create, maintain and update their system passwords with unique and secure passwords.
Maintain Secure Firewalls
By the requirements stated by the PCI DSS companies are required, to install and maintain their data protecting firewall setup. Companies must make their firewall configuration policy and develop a configuration test procedure to ensure that the cardholder’s data remain free from any external risks. The hosting provider should have a firewalls set-up, up and running to protect and create a secure, private network.
Protection of Stored Data
Some companies and business entities store the cardholder’s data, and this requirement is specifically applicable to those organizations who do. Companies usually avoid the practice of storing such data to avoid chances of security breaches and identity theft. By the conditions mentioned by PCI compliance host provider, a requirement of multiple layers of defense is required.
Maintain Strong IT Security Polices
Unique access identification marks, password encryption, authorization, authentication, frequent password updates are all measures taken for safe data keeping. To assure that the system is working flawlessly, regular testing and checks are to be taken. As well as maintaining a policy including all acceptable uses of technology.
Update Anti-Virus Software
Frequent updates are required by any anti-virus software to protect against the most recently developed malware. Data that is hosted on outsourced servers are exposed to risks and intrusion. Hence maintaining an antivirus software provides for a safer data friendly environment.
Restricting Access to Cardholder Data
A part of implementing Strong Access Control Measures based on the PCI security standard is to potentially limit the number of personnel that has authorized access to cardholder’s data. This decreases the chances of security breaches significantly.
Restrict Physical Access to Cardholder Data
By limiting personnel that has access to the sensitive information along with monitoring, and surveillance cameras for entry authentication, companies can accomplish their data protecting the objective. As well as monitoring and tracking user activities.
Encryption of Cardholder Data
By encrypting data, the data remains secured and is potentially useless to third parties unless a cryptographic key is available. This is fundamentally essential as stated by the PCI security standards and all companies are obligated to implement this practice.