The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a set of security standards for organizations that handle credit card information. It’s meant to protect consumers from identity theft and fraud. The standard specifies 12 core requirements that all merchants must follow if they wish to process credit card data in a secure way.
Since it was first introduced in 2004, many businesses have adopted pci dss compliance as an essential part of their cybersecurity infrastructure.
Here are some tips to ensure your company is successfully PCI DSS compliant –
1: Conduct an Internal Audit
Before you start working on your PCI DSS compliance strategy, you must conduct an internal audit. By doing so, you can determine whether or not your systems are secure and if they need any updates or improvements. In addition, an internal audit will ensure that you have the right policies in place.
Additionally, conducting audits is an excellent way for businesses to avoid external complications associated with non-compliance with the PCI DSS standard. For example, if there are any vulnerabilities in your company’s system, hackers could take advantage of these vulnerabilities and access sensitive customer data. This can lead to severe problems for both customers and businesses alike.
2: Maintain Cybersecurity Measures
The good news is that you can use your existing cybersecurity infrastructure to ensure compliance. Install and maintain definite cybersecurity solutions.
For example, if your company uses a firewall or antivirus software, it’s vital to ensure that these are up-to-date with the latest security patches. Companies must also protect cardholder information from internal threats and human error by tracking the movements of cardholder information.
By tracking where cardholder data goes, organizations can discover weak links in their compliance strategies.
3: Ensure all Employees are Trained
There are many benefits of having an informed workforce, and this is especially true in the context of PCI DSS compliance. Here are some critical points to keep in mind:
- Any compliance strategy fails if employees are not involved in its application.
- Companies must ensure that every employee is aware of PCI DSS requirements, their importance and how they can support and ensure compliance.
- A knowledgeable workforce is less likely to bypass policies or ignore security protocols that may seem too complicated or inconvenient.
4: Check Systems and Processes Regularly
Regularly checking business systems and processes to ensure your company is PCI DSS compliant should be one of your top priorities. It’s essential to test the effectiveness of internal policies, including training for staff, security awareness campaigns, and ongoing monitoring of cardholder information (for example, by performing data scans).
Additionally, regular penetration testing on external-facing payment gateways or websites that process credit card data may be beneficial. Regularly checking systems and processes can ensure that potential vulnerabilities are discovered and swiftly dealt with before they cause damage or result in fines or penalties from regulators.
Remember, pci dss compliance is a process, not a goal. Keeping up with your security program is crucial even after attaining PCI DSS certification and maintaining compliance.
The best way to do so is by having an experienced partner who can offer guidance on best practices and easily implement new controls when necessary—such as those required for the latest versions and various payment types.