Whether you own an eCommerce store or a new brick and mortar enterprise, you’ll probably handle customer payment information regularly. For example, a single credit card transaction reflects the location, person’s name, address and purchasing history. If this information were to end up in the wrong hands, your business would suffer from significant consequences.
60% of companies that fall victim to data breaches aren’t able to recover, you can avoid data hacks and ensure the longevity of your startup.
Understanding PCI DSS Compliance
PCI compliance is required for any company that collects, processes, stores, or distributes credit card payments. It is a robust list of over 250 individual requirements and 12 objectives. Some of the general requirements of PCI include:
Filling in a self-assessment questionnaire to determine where your business currently stands with regards to being compliant
Having secure applications that process payment data
Having your systems audited by a Qualified Security Assessor (QSA) to determine compliance
Which Level Do You Fall Under?
There are four different levels of compliance, determined by the number of transactions you process within a year. Level 1 applies to any company that handles more than 6 million transactions annually. It has the highest number of requirements because of the volume and the potential risk of breaches. Furthermore, any business that experiences a security breach will need to remain compliant under level 1.
Level 3 is for 20,000-1 million transactions and level 4 covers under 20,000 annual transactions. Each level has specific compliance guidelines.
Companies under level 1 are also expected to implement continuous scans that ensure compliance is adhered to at all times.
Level 2 compliance requires your business to fill out a self-assessment questionnaire and carry out regular scans to determine where you stand when it comes to PCI guidelines. Level III and V have less stringent measures, but businesses within these levels still need to have firewalls in place, install security software, and actively monitor their networks.
Developing A Plan For Remaining Compliant
Because payment processing is a critical part of any business, remaining compliant with PCI DSS will help you avoid potential data breaches.
1. Continuous compliance is critical
PCI compliance isn’t and done task that you simply will complete and ignore. Consider PCI as a repeated method, one that you should pay attention to regularly. In the same way, you may analyze sales and forecast future performance, make sure you pay similar attention to payment processing data.
2. Tailor compliance requirements to your business
Therefore, you may need to tailor your operations to fall in line with your specific compliance guidelines.
These factors will help you develop workflows that make compliance more achievable.
3. Have resources in place for achieving compliance
Finally, don’t forget to set aside resources for maintaining PCI compliance. Carry out an audit of your current systems, hardware, and manpower to determine where gaps exist.