One of the primary obstacles anyone who deals in payments online needs to overcome is PCI-DSS compliance.
The importance of compliance, while not forced upon as with those interested in receiving or maintaining PCI certification, helps with maintaining a safe and secure environment for collected sensitive data, and in the long-run should help save money, as well as protect your company.
The Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS) provides industry standard regulations and guidelines to encourage best practices and prevent data theft and misuse. The PCI-Security Standards Council (SSC) has updated the requirements for compliance this past January with the release of PCI-DSS 3.0. While not straying far from the importance of data security, the new addition to the standards primary includes data security compliance from an employee aspect rather than a technical one.
We have put together 4 important PCI DSS solutions you should be practicing in order to remain compliant.
1. Separate environments: Separating your computing environments helps not only with creating an additional layer of overall protection to your systems, but also minimizes risks by reducing the PCI scope.
2. Documentation: Everything related to risk, data protection, and system security must be documented. It is unpredictable to know what aspect of your system a PCI auditor might request to see, and making sure all information is documented not helps with compliance but also everyday best practices.
Some advanced systems go as far as offering video recording capabilities with the ability to play back a certain change to the system or record an end-users payment environment.
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3. Minimal card data: Data breaches are primarily after payment card data. Having minimal data available should prevent any unwanted breaches to occur. In addition, if the system is breached, no super-sensitive data is made available.
Best to see if your payment service provider offers an option for them store the data for you, or offers a tokenization system which helps prevent leakage of payment data.
4. Consistent data safety training: A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Making sure not only your digital systems are PCI compliant is not enough. Scheduling regular staff meetings with an emphasis on data safety and security help update awareness.
Some companies have regulated training with Q&A sessions to make sure the situation of data security is taken care of.
In an ever changing landscape, non being PCI compliant does not only mean your data may not be protected, but you as a merchant are not protected.
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