As the business world goes increasingly virtual, paying for products and services in cash is becoming rarer than ever. More and more organizations are developing ways to accept ‘plastic’ or virtual modes of payment. That’s why we’re on a mission to help educate these organizations about the importance of PCI compliance.
When you think about it, cash is becoming a more and more rare form of currency in the business world. More often than not, when customers are paying for products and services these days, they’re charging it to a credit or debit card. This means that for many businesses and service providers, processing payment card transactions has become second-nature.
However, with all the convenience and speed of today’s economic reality, it can be easy to forget that sensitive financial information is constantly being shared, stored, and transmitted at a rapid-fire speed. This opens up new risks and vulnerabilities when it comes to financial and identity fraud, not to mention potential liability issues for businesses that process payment card transactions. That’s where PCI compliance comes in.
First things first, let’s answer the question that’s burning in everyone’s mind: what is PCI compliance and why is it so important to almost every organization in the modern business landscape? PCI compliance is mandated by the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Security Standards Council which was formed in 2006 to mandate the security of credit card transactions between cardholders and merchants.
Being PCI compliant is all about consistently adhering to the comprehensive set of guidelines developed by the PCI Security Standards Council. These compliance standards require that all merchants and organizations who process payment card transactions handle payment card information in a proactively secure manner.
So, why is PCI compliance so important? There are a few key reasons. First of all, by implementing PCI compliance standards, organizations help reduce the likelihood that cardholders will have sensitive financial account information hacked or stolen. This means organizations can rest assured that PCI compliance standards help them to provide a secure customer service environment every time their products or services are being bought and sold.
Additionally, however, PCI compliance standards are designed to protect organizations themselves. If merchants and businesses do not handle credit card information according to PCI standards, they open themselves up to a multitude of risks. Not only could company financial data be stolen or misused, but organizations also open themselves up to major liability issues in the case of a data breach where client financial information is accessed without authorization and used for a variety of fraudulent actions.
Further, PCI compliance standards truly are serious business. When organizations fail to uphold these standards they could also face significant fines and penalties for non-compliance. To put it simply, the risks of ignoring PCI compliance regulations can have serious impacts on the reputation and business continuity of non-compliant organizations.
Now that we’ve got your attention, you’re probably wondering what PCI compliance regulations look like and how you might implement these standards for your own organization.
The requirements developed by the PCI Security Standards Council are known as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS). The PCI DSS is a comprehensive and detailed mandate that includes 6 major objectives, 12 key requirements, 78 base requirements, and over 400 test procedures. This collection of guidelines and requirements are considered data security best practices by leading industry professionals.
All organizations that handle payment card information in any way are required to uphold PCI DSS as stipulated in their card processing agreements. While we couldn’t possibly go over all the details contained in PCI DSS here, we can take a closer look at the 6 major objectives that will help guide your organization and maintain rigorous PCI compliance. Let’s check them out in closer detail below.
Here are the 6 major objectives of the PCI DSS:
At the end of the day, PCI compliance is the industry standard, and doing business without it can result in substantial fines and penalties for agreement violations and negligence. And guess what? PCI compliance truly is designed to protect your clients and your organization – so there’s really no good reason to avoid it.
If you’re ready to stop putting off PCI compliance, we would love to help you tackle it head-on. Our team has lots of experience helping organizations in countless industries implement and maintain reliable strategies to uphold PCI compliance. Have questions about how to get and stay compliant? Our team is here to help.
Give us a call anytime at (613) 634-8125, or visit our website at www.onserve.ca to chat with a live agent and book a PCI compliance consultation.