What Part Does IT Play in Ensuring Compliance With PCI DSS?

PCI DSS, also known as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, is an important security standard that controls personal data and reduces the risk of fraud with bank and credit card payments.


The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) was developed as a result of a collaborative effort among the most prominent payment brands in the United States, including Mastercard, Visa, and American Express. In order to make the shopping experience safer for customers, they established the PCI Security Standards Council, which is in charge of monitoring the rules. We will take a look at how much of a factor IT plays in maintaining the security standards needed for PCI DSS.


PCI Data Security Standard Compliance


Any company that processes cardholder data is required to comply with the PCI Data Security Standard. This pertains to the entirety of the process of making a payment using a card, including the transmission of or storage of cardholder information.


The most obvious illustration of this would be a merchant company that accepts both credit card and debit card payments. Even if a merchant contracts with a third party to handle the processing of their payments, the merchant organisation itself is still responsible for adhering to the PCI DSS regulations and ensuring that it is compliant.


You might be wondering, therefore, what happens if you do not comply with the PCI Data Security Standard. Although the PCI Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is not a legislation that has been passed by the government, the standard has been put into all contracts between merchants, payment processors, and banks, making compliance with the standard a legal duty.


Because of the contracts they have in place, payment processing brands have the ability to levy fines against acquiring banks that do not fulfil PCI Data Security Standards. When this occurs, the acquiring banks have the ability to stop providing services to merchants who do not comply with PCI DSS, including the ability to accept payments through credit card. Because of this, it will be extremely difficult for the merchant to conduct business if they do not comply with the PCI DSS.


The GDPR includes provisions for the protection of cardholder data, and violations of this regulation are subject to hefty fines.



The advantages of being in compliance with PCI DSS


A merchant is able to continue running their business while also collaborating with payment providers and acquiring banks, which is beneficial for the merchant because it protects the merchant’s reputation with their customers, prevents the merchant from losing money due to fraudulent payments, and enables the merchant to avoid losing money altogether because they can’t trade online.


Because the rules for PCI DSS are intended to be adaptable enough to accommodate businesses of varying sizes, it is possible that a smaller company that processes fewer card transactions will require fewer resources to bring itself into compliance than a larger company that brings in more money. This is because the rules are designed to be flexible enough so they are not overwhelming for smaller businesses without all of the resources of a larger corporation.  


In the event that a company suffers a data breach, it is probable that as a direct result of the breach, its compliance responsibilities will increase.


What part does IT play in the PCI Data Security Standard?


The criteria for the PCI Data Security Standard are centered on the establishment of safe information technology systems and the adherence to industry standards. The PCI Data Security Standard includes the following requirements, all of which are listed here for your convenience.


Safe, secure networks

To prevent unauthorised access to cardholder data, configure a firewall on your computer and check to see that it is always kept  up to date. Do not fall into the trap of utilising the default values supplied by the manufacturer for your system passwords or any other security parameters. This is a rookie mistake that could have serious consequences.


Cardholder data 

Check to see that the data on cardholders that has been stored is protected. Encrypt all of the information that is being sent about cardholders via open and public networks.


Vulnerability management

Make use of anti-virus software or tools, and check to see that they are updated on a regular basis. Develop safe applications and operating systems, and continue to update them.


Access control

According to the needs of the company, restrict access to any information that might pertain to cardholders. Create a one-of-a-kind identifier for each user who uses the computer to access cardholder data and ensure the identifier is assigned to them securely. The information about cardholders ought to be protected from unauthorised physical access.


Monitoring of the network

Keep a record of and watch over every access that is made to network resources and cardholder data. Conduct routine audits of all security-related procedures and systems.


Regulatory measures for safety

It is important to have a policy in place that covers the issue of information security for both workers and contractors.


Different categories of PCI DSS compliance


In order for merchants to maintain compliance with PCI DSS, they must first examine the list of requirements applicable to the size of their company and then validate that their cardholder environment satisfies these requirements.


As was said earlier, the specific requirements for PCI DSS compliance will differ depending on the nature of your company; nevertheless, in general, your obligations will be based on the number of credit card transactions you handle.


It is in your best interest to get in touch with an experienced IT support provider in order to get additional assistance ensuring that your cardholder environment satisfies all of the needed security standards and to guarantee that you are following all of the most recent legislation pertaining to GDPR.


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