To protect your business’s bottom line and reputation, you need to achieve and maintain PCI compliance.
PCI refers to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard set by major credit card brands to ensure that businesses do everything in their power to protect their customers’ data security. Failing to meet PCI compliance standards could leave your business at a higher risk of a data breach and result in your acquiring bank passing down PCI compliance fines between $5,000 and $100,000 per month. Also, in the case of a data breach, your business could face the additional financial burdens of a forensics audit and card replacement costs.
If your business accepts credit cards or stores payment data of any kind and hasn’t yet become PCI compliant, you need to take action right away. Here are six ways to help your business achieve PCI compliance.
#1. Protect Your Data With A Firewall
To meet PCI compliance standards, most businesses need a firewall protecting their data. A firewall adds extra layers of data security and makes your business much less susceptible to a breach. If you need help installing a firewall, talk to your payment processing or merchant services provider and ask for recommendations.
#2. Get Secure Payment Technology
Many businesses are required by PCI compliance standards to encrypt and tokenize their customers’ payment data. Encryption and tokenization break your customers’ data into codes that data thieves are not able to read or translate. Contact your credit card processing or merchant services company to determine whether your current payment technology executes these processes. If not, ask your provider about your upgrade options.
#3. Install Malware Protection And Anti-Virus Software
PCI compliance standards also require most businesses to have malware protection and anti-virus software installed on all of their computers, especially those that contain sensitive data. If not, hackers may be able to install viruses and malware that steal customer payment data.
#4. Limit Access To Your Payment Data
PCI requirements dictate that you limit access to your stored payment data. Essentially, this means that you only provide access to your data on a need-to-know basis. Limiting access reduces the risk of an internal security breach.
#5. Change Your Passwords
To protect your data from thieves and meet PCI compliance standards, you need to ensure your passwords aren’t easy to guess. In other words, don’t use a password such as “password” or “123456789.” While difficult passwords may be hard to remember, the added data security they offer makes them worthwhile.
#6. Work With Your Merchant Services Provider
Filling out the paperwork and going through the processes of PCI compliance is complicated. Working with an expert merchant services provider that’s as dedicated to your bottom line as you are makes it a bit easier. Contact your provider and ask them to help take you through the process one step at a time.
Achieving PCI compliance helps protect your business from serious financial risks. Check the six items above to start your path to data security success today.