Why PCI Compliance Is Important to Your Business and How to Adhere to It

Every growing business needs a way to keep its sensitive information safe and secure – particularly when it comes to online payments. This is where the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) comes in. This standard, put forth by all the major credit card companies, serves as an essential security method to reduce costly data breaches.

Want to know more about PCI compliance? Here’s why adhering to this standard is highly advisable for all sorts of businesses and how to make that happen.

Why PCI Compliance Is Important

Though PCI compliance isn’t required by law, it makes a lot of sense for all merchants that accept credit card transactions. Being PCI compliant enhances your security and protects your business and customers from data breaches. Without this level of protection, you leave yourself open to steep fines, potential lawsuits, and even the risk of closure.

Beyond avoiding the above consequences, PCI compliance makes it more likely that your customers will entrust you with their sensitive data. This will improve your business reputation and bring more customers to you down the road.

How to Become PCI Compliant

All major card members of the PCI DSS have their own sets of data security standards. As such, the requirements for becoming PCI compliant will depend on several factors. The main one is your merchant level, defined by how many transactions you process per year. Here’s a quick breakdown of merchant levels:

  • Level 1: Merchants that process over 6 million transactions every year
  • Level 2: Merchants that process 1-6 million transactions every year
  • Level 3: Merchants that process between 20,000 and 1 million transactions every year
  • Level 4: Merchants that process under 20,000 transactions every year

Regardless of which level applies to your business, becoming PCI compliant will involve completing a self-assessment questionnaire (SAQ). Doing so will prove you understand how your business can securely process credit cards. You’ll also need to find a payment processor that offers PCI-compliant processing solutions.

The PCI Compliance Checklist

Once you become PCI compliant, you’ll need to follow certain guidelines to stay compliant. Think of these guidelines as the best practices for payment security. You’ll need to:

  1. Install and maintain firewalls to protect cardholder data
  2. Use strong system password protection
  3. Protect stored cardholder data
  4. Encrypt cardholder data transmitted across networks
  5. Implement and regularly update antivirus software
  6. Patch and maintain your security systems
  7. Limit access to cardholder data
  8. Assign a unique ID to anyone with access to cardholder data
  9. Restrict all physical access to cardholder data
  10. Create and manage access logs
  11. Test system vulnerabilities regularly
  12. Create and maintain a security policy

Ensuring PCI Compliance is crucial for the security and integrity of your business operations. By adhering to these standards, you can safeguard sensitive customer data, build trust with your customers, and avoid costly breaches. Take the necessary steps today to become PCI compliant and protect your business from potential risks. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our MONA team for further guidance and support. Let us help you navigate the world of PCI Compliance and keep your business secure.

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