Nowadays, every business accepts payment cards. To protect people’s personal and financial information when conducting transactions using credit, debit, and gift cards, the companies that stand to lose the most if these transactions are compromised: Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express, have implemented industry-wide compliance regulations. This regulation is called PCI DSS, short for Payment Card Index Digital Security Standard. Let’s take a brief look at this regulation.
The credit card companies listed above make up what is called the PCI Security Standards Council. They have created a mandate that any business who wants to accept payment cards needs to adhere to. That means any business. So from the largest multinational corporation to the smallest street vendor, if that company needs to accept payment by credit, debit, or affiliated gift cards, they need to be PCI compliant.
What does that mean?
It means that any business that stores information or processes payment using digital payment cards would have to maintain PCI compliance. Here are 10 actions those business need to take to meet compliance regulations:
Fortunately, many businesses already do these things to keep the data they store safe. Companies that don’t will likely be in breach of the regulation, and therefore, face the ire of PCI regulators.
According to PCI regulators, the size of your business is in direct proportion to the amount of risk you take on. That’s why PCI Security Council mandates break businesses into four different merchant levels. They are:
Let’s take a look at the responsibilities businesses in each merchant level have to stay PCI compliant:
Merchant Level #1
Doing massive business online and otherwise brings with it more responsibility. To maintain PCI compliance, Level one merchants need to:
Merchant Level #2
As transactions begin to decrease there are less stringent standards. Level two’s include:
Merchant Level #3
Many medium-sized businesses will fall under this level and need to:
Merchant Level #4
The majority of small business fall into level #4 status and like levels two and three need to:
Data privacy is more important now than ever, and the payment card industry does a wonderful job policing their own. Companies found not to be in compliance with PCI DSS requirements face severe financial penalties, higher levels of scrutiny, and even the revocation of card processing privileges.
If you would like to know more about PCI DSS compliance or any other regulation that concerns your information technology, call Suffolk Computer Consultants today at 631-905-9617.