PCI Compliance: Why It Is Important?
Although modern credit cards are safe enough, online stores are still at the risk of cyber attacks, data breaches, and credit card thefts. Payment transaction safety remains the main concern for both online retailers and customers. Fortunately, data protection technologies and standards constantly evolve, helping to defend online businesses from cybercrimes.
There are no doubts that the most reliable way to protect your customers’ credit card data today is to be PCI compliant. Today we’re going to explore PCI standards in-depth and figure out why it’s so important.
What Is PCI Compliance?
The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a set of standards for organizations and online businesses to handle, transmit, process, and store cardholder data during credit card transactions to prevent data breaches.
These standards were developed in 2007 by three major credit card companies — Visa, MasterCard, and American Express. They created an independent PCI Security Standards Council that administers and manages PCI DSS.
The PCI Security Standards Council provides entrepreneurs with comprehensive standards and supporting materials like specification frameworks, tools, measurements, and support resources, ensuring the security of the cardholders' data.
Requirements For PCI Compliance PCI Compliance has 6 main goals:
1. Build and Maintain a Secure Network and Systems;
2. Protect Cardholder Data;
3. Maintain a Vulnerability Management Program;
4. Implement Strong Access Control Measures;
5. Regularly Monitor and Test Networks;
6. Maintain an Information Security Policy.
To achieve these goals you have to meet 12 PCI Compliance requirements.
Requirement 1. Install and maintain a firewall to prevent unauthorized access to cardholder data.
Requirement 2. Ensure proper password protections by not using vendor-supplied defaults for any security parameters and system passwords.
Requirement 3. Protect cardholder data by encrypting it with certain algorithms.
Requirement 4. Encrypt cardholder data during its transmission across the public and open networks.
Requirement 5. All systems must be secured with anti-virus software.
Requirement 6. Security software and applications must be regularly and properly updated.
Requirement 7. Restrict access to cardholder data for staff, executives, and third-parties who don’t need it.
Requirement 8. Individuals who do have access to cardholder data should have individual credentials and identification for access.
Requirement 9. Physically kept cardholder data must be stored in secure locations. The access to it must be limited.
Requirement 10. Create and maintain access logs to document data flows in an organization and the time of access.
Requirement 11. Conduct regular vulnerability testing.
Requirement 12. Maintain a policy that addresses information security for staff.
Benefits of PCI Compliance
PCI compliance ensures trust in your business from customers, making them confident in their payment data security. Moreover, it improves your company’s credibility among payment brands and your business partners.
Meeting PCI compliance means that your business contributes to global payment card data security. As it’s an ongoing process, you’ll protect sensitive customer data not only in the present but in the future too.
Furthermore, you can consider PCI compliance as preparation for complying with additional security regulations like HIPAA, SOX, etc. In addition, you can use these Data Security Standards to develop your corporate security strategies. Overall, it will help to improve your Tech infrastructure efficiency.
PCI Non-Compliance Consequences
Although PCI compliance is not a law, your business may have some serious troubles. First of all, non-compliant organizations put themselves at great risk of data breaches, fines, forensic investigations, and many more troubles.
In case of a data breach resulting from non-compliance with PCI standards, credit card brands may levy fines from $5.000 to $100.000 per month, terminate a contract, or increase transaction fees.
Failing to comply with PCI standards also leads to diminished sales, credibility losses, higher subsequent costs of compliance, termination of the ability to accept payment cards, or even going out of business.
Unfortunately, all Magento 1 merchants may face these consequences in the next months. The leading payment service Visa is concerned about the merchants who haven’t migrated their stores to Magento 2 yet (June 30 is the end of life for Magento 1 platform). The company states that merchants should migrate to a supported version or alternate platform to remain PCI compliant.
This post was brought to you by the Mobecls team, a development agency that specializes in Magento. Our team, as well as Visa, is concerned about the merchants who haven’t migrated, exposing their stores to remain without any support. We provide merchants several migration scenarios that meet specific business needs and budgets. We’ll help you to create an individual migration plan that will suit your online store.