Everything you need to know about PCI compliance
As a business owner, you understand the importance of security, and keeping your customer’s personal and financial information safe. Not only is it essential for cultivating a good brand reputation, but data breaches can be costly, wasting valuable time, money and resources.
In practice, prioritizing security and protecting your customers’ data from hackers and fraudsters mean complying with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS). While you may know that you need to adhere to these standards, do you know exactly what’s involved and what to do to ensure your business is compliant? Here, we break it all down for you so you can feel confident in your security and compliance.
Who sets the standards, and who has to follow them?
The PCI DSS set the operational and technical requirements for all organizations that accept or process payment cards. This includes payment cards from brands including Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover. Altogether, there are twelve requirements that work to ensure cardholder data protection and a secure network. The PCI Security Standards Council is responsible for maintaining and evolving the standards, and providing the tools needed to implement them.
What impact would a data breach have on your business?
Following best practices and maintaining PCI compliance is important for businesses of all sizes, including small and medium-sized businesses. A data breach involving payment card data can result in fines and penalties, not to mention reputational damage when customers learn their data has been compromised. Although the most frequent media reports feature national brands that have faced breaches, small businesses are very often the target for fraudsters.
Maintaining PCI compliance is simply good business. As consumers become more tech-savvy, their top priority is increasingly protecting their personal and financial information. Build trust and give them a strong sense of security, and you’ll develop long-lasting relationships with your customers and enjoy their repeat business. Being PCI compliant helps you foster a good reputation and a reliable brand image, which ultimately boosts your bottom line.
Avoid reputational risk and a loss of consumer confidence by maintaining PCI compliance
There are different requirements for PCI compliance depending on how many payment card transactions your business processes per year. As a small or medium-sized business owner, you’ll likely be required to complete an annual PCI self-assessment questionnaire and a quarterly network scan. You’ll need to protect your card readers, POS systems, networks, wireless access routers, online payment applications, shopping carts, payment card data storage and transmission, and more.
A key tool that can support your business’ PCI compliance efforts is using a reputable payment processor.
At Elavon, we offer a range of easy-to-implement tools to help keep your transactions secure, complete PCI assessments and keep your business running smoothly. Our PCI Compliance Manager is a user-friendly online tool that helps you quickly and easily report on and maintain compliance. It provides financial protection in the form of breach reimbursement, an online portal, education and support. Our powerful network deploys state-of-the-art encryption and continually updates your system to the latest internet technology standards. You can protect your customers and reduce the scope of PCI compliance though Elavon’s suite of security solutions, including tokenization, encryption and our secure gateway.