With the increased Internet adoption and rise of digital payments across the globe, you might have come across information emphasizing payment security. This is because the frequent transfer of business information, including sensitive card details over email and other modes, has also increased the related risk.
Per PrivacyRights.org, more than 11 billion consumer records have been compromised since 2005.
If you run a business and hire several third-party service providers – tax firms, cloud hosting providers, etc., how will you ensure that your sensitive information will be protected? This is where PCI-DSS compliance comes to the rescue.
In this guide, we will cover PCI-DSS standards in detail.
What is PCI DSS?
PCI DSS stands for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard. It is mainly a set of security standards that are designed for the protection of card and online payment transactions against data theft/fraud.
Initially, VISA, the global financial services corporation, began its own set of security standards, CISP, in the 1990s to protect against massive fraud levels. This was followed by similar implementation of security standards by companies like AmericanExpress and MasterCard.
Finally, in 2006, an alliance of credit payment agencies created the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC). This council created a set of payment standards to be fulfilled by businesses that store, process, and transmit card holders’ data. These standards are later renamed PCI DSS.
What Does PCI DSS Certification Mean?
PCI DSS certification means the organization follows the best practices to ensure card data security on the business side with the help of firewalls, data encryption, antiviruses, etc. Besides this, PCI-DSS compliant service providers must add restrictions to access cardholder data and network resources.
The importance of PCI DSS compliance certification can also be realized from the fact that a data breach resulting in the loss of financial data can have severe consequences for a business, including lawsuits and reputational damage. Hence, working with PCI DSS-compliant service providers is advisable to ensure complete data integrity.
How Does It Work?
PCI DSS compliance is not just a certification but a regular process that involves:
- Identifying assets that handle cardholder data to check for any vulnerabilities
- Repair and remediation of vulnerabilities if found
- Reporting of assessment and repair performed to fix the vulnerabilities
While the compliance process and steps may vary for different companies, the core principle stays the same.
Key PCI DSS Compliance Requirements
PCI DSS consists of 12 key requirements, which are:
- Firewalls installation for data protection
- Security of password
- Cardholder data protection
- Cardholder data encryption during transmission via public networks
- Antivirus software usage with updates
- Regular maintenance of security systems
- Only authorized access to cardholder data
- Unique ID associated with authorized users
- Restrict access to cardholder data (physical)
- Continuous monitoring of network resources and cardholder data
- Testing of security systems
- Documentation of information security-related policy
More About PCI DSS Compliance Levels
There are four levels of PCI DSS compliance that are based on the number of card transactions a company processes in a year. These include:
|Compliance level||For Business Processing|
|Level 1||Above six million card transactions in a year|
|Level 2||One to six million transactions in a year|
|Level 3||20,000 to 1 million card transactions annually|
|Level 4||Less than 20,000 transactions per year|
Benefits of PCI DSS Compliance
- Security of cardholder data
- Lower risk of identity theft
- Brand reputation enhancement
- Reduced risk of data breaches
- Loyal customer base
What would happen in the case of non-compliance with PCI DSS standards?
Non-compliance with PCI standards does call for punitive actions for a service provider. However, it will primarily result in monetary fines that constitute banking fines, legal assistance charges, the cost of federal audits, etc.
Choose Verito for PCI DSS Compliant Cloud Hosting Services
Verito Technologies offer cloud solutions backed by PCI DSS compliant data centers to ensure maximum security of our client’s sensitive data. A comprehensive suite of cloud solutions is suitable for different types of businesses, solo tax professionals, tax/accounting firms, or SMBs.
For more information, contact us at 1-855-583-7486.