PCI complianceFirst, let’s get you, the active business owner, up to speed on how the PCI security standard became so important in the first place. This minimum standard for regulation on information security was created to improve the protection of client information for the payment systems being used for both physical and web-based businesses, thus building a greater foundation of trust among businesses and consumers. It was Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and JCB that shaped and formed the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) in 2006.

Before the PCI SSC was established, these payment card firms all had their own security standards programs—each with roughly similar necessities and goals. They banded together through the PCI SSC to align on one customary policy, the PCI information Security Standards (known as PCI DSS), to make sure a baseline level of protection for customers and banks within the net era existed.

Now that you’re up to speed let’s find out what PCI compliance is.

What Is PCI Compliance?

PCI compliance is a commonplace set of international security standards for all entities that store, process, or transmit cardholder intelligence and sensitive authentication data. PCI DSS sets a baseline level of protection for shoppers and helps scale back fraud and intelligence breaches across the entire payment system for your business. It applies to any organization that accepts or processes payment cards.

The 3 Main Parts of Compliance:

  • How You Handle Card Data
  • How You Securely Store Card Data
  • Submitting An Annual PCI Validation Report

Next, you can discover a brief outline of how to be PCI compliant in our modern-day business world.

How to Be PCI Compliant in the Age of Digital Information

According to the PCI Compliance Security Standard Council, there are four levels of PCI compliance:

Level 4: For any merchandiser processing under 20,000 e-Commerce transactions annually, and merchants that process upwards of one-million transactions annually, notwithstanding the channel.

Level 3: For any merchant that processes 20,000 to 1 million transactions annually.

Level 2: For any merchant processing one to 6 million transactions in a year, notwithstanding the channel.

Level 1: This is for any merchant that processes over 6 million transactions annually, notwithstanding the channel.

A business can learn about its compliance level by contacting its payment processing supplier. The more complicated compliance issues apply to merchants falling between the first and third levels, due to their massive size and vulnerable payment processing atmosphere.

However, for most small to medium-sized businesses, they will fall under the lesser compliance standards of level four. In many cases, small and medium-sized businesses will lack IT and compliance infrastructure, therefore resulting in a different set of safety and security standards. Again, get in touch with your payment process supplier and get the PCI compliance tools and resources you need.

So, Does Your Business Need to Be PCI Compliant?

The short answer to this question is yes. PCI compliance is needed by all major credit card corporations to process on-line transactions. Any business person that desires to use, store, and transmit this data and information is going to have to be PCI compliant, according to the PCI Compliance Security Standard Council.

For further information regarding the ever inherent need for secure web-based design, marketing, and communications, you can contact us when you’re ready, and consult with a knowledgeable member of our team at Smart Link Solutions. Don’t forget to stop by our blog for more helpful information, or our twitter account to stay up to date on what news and events we’re following in the digital marketing industry.