PCI Compliance Guidelines

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) applies to companies of any size that accept credit card payments. If your company intends to accept card payment, and store, process or transmit cardholder data, you need to host your data securely with a PCI compliant hosting provider.

If many small businesses lose their ability to accept credit card payments due to de-certification it could have effects that are far-reaching. All stores who process cards are impacted by this new requirement. Online stores that use a hosted ‘virtual’ processing system are not PCI compliant. These merchants are not exempt from PCI compliance. Fraud prevention is not a laughing matter and needs to be taken seriously. What can you do if you are a merchant to be sure you are not de-certified?

Being PCI compliant means you are protecting the information about your customers and their payment information. You need to have your computer systems restricted as to who can access them. If you have remote locations or users logging in there needs to be more than one method of authenticating them other than a password. Encryption of your data if it is transmitted over the internet is paramount. While most big business have already implemented these practices many small businesses have not. The amount of paperwork and costs may be what has prevented the smaller businesses from coming on board. However, this is no longer a choice if you want to continue to accept credit card payments.Being PCI compliant means you are protecting the information about your customers and their payment information. You need to have your computer systems restricted as to who can access them. If you have remote locations or users logging in there needs to be more than one method of authenticating them other than a password. Encryption of your data if it is transmitted over the internet is paramount. While most big business have already implemented these practices many small businesses have not. The amount of paperwork and costs may be what has prevented the smaller businesses from coming on board. However, this is no longer a choice if you want to continue to accept credit card payments.

Level 3 merchants have 20,000 to 1 million Visa and/or Mastercard e-commerce transactions processed per year. You must complete a Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ) annually, and this level also requires a network scan with an approved scanning vendor. If you are a level 4 merchant you have less than 20,000 Visa and/or Mastercard e-commerce transactions processed per year. You must complete a Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ) annually, and it requires a network scan with an approved scanning vendor.

While in the past there were few programs that attempted to verify PCI compliance that has changed. The chances you will be caught grows every day. Still there should be an education period and before you are fined or de-certified you should be given an opportunity to come into PCI compliance.

Looking to find the best deal on pci compliance, then visit www.trust-guard.com to find the best advice on the pci compliance standards for you.

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