What Is PCI Compliance

November 7, 2022 | Merchants | Dustin

PCI Compliance

What Is PCI Compliance?

PCI is an acronym that stands for the Payment Card Industry, but what is PCI compliance?

In order for companies in the industry to be compliant, they need to follow what’s known as the PCI DSS, or the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard. These requirements ensure companies maintain a secure environment for the transfer, storage, and processing of credit card information.

To keep the industry safe and improve individual account security, reputable companies banded together to create the PCI SSC, or the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council. This council is to oversee and manage the PCI DSS.


What Are the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards include 12 requirements that payment card companies need to follow to remain compliant.
What Are the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards
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 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

While there are a lot of requirements that aren’t necessarily easy to follow, there are benefits for the companies that work hard to achieve these standards. Additionally, failing to meet these requirements will cause serious security risks. It may even result in long-term consequences. So let’s dive into some of the specific benefits for companies that follow the standards.


Benefits of Being PCI Compliant

Low risk and high risk businesses that can maintain PCI compliance not only improve their company but make the world of payments safer for their customers. Here are the primary benefits of being a PCI compliant payment company.

Benefits of Being PCI CompliantSecure Systems That Customers Trust

With a more secure payment system, your customers will trust that their sensitive information is safe in the hands of your company. It mainly comes back to requirement number 6. This ensures that a company develops a secure system and maintains that system’s security. Additionally, requirement 11 makes payment companies regularly test the security of their systems.

Improve Reputation and Brand Image

Companies that follow PCI compliance guidelines instantly improve their reputation. This is a result of showing customers and other industry members that they take customer security and industry reliability seriously.

Prevent Security Breaches

Unfortunately, security breaches happen way more often than they should. Consumer data is being stolen from companies at an alarming rate. This cripples trust between companies and the public.

Over the past decade, data breaches in the United States have skyrocketed. Data breaches have climbed from 662 breaches in 2010 to surpassing 1,000 data breaches in 2020. The number of data breaches peaked in 2017. That year had a staggering 1,632 data breaches, exposing 197.61 million records.

PCI Compliant BusinessesContributes to a Broader Corporate Security Strategy

Following the PCI compliance requirements is a starting point for a larger corporate security strategy. While it shouldn’t be the only security measures a company takes, it covers a lot of areas that require attention.

Strengthen IT Infrastructure

Having a secure IT infrastructure is the only way to limit your exposure to potential data breaches in the digital age that we operate in. By building an efficient infrastructure that facilitates company operations, you’re ensuring a safer environment for customers.

November 7, 2022 | Merchants | Dustin