What is PCI Compliance?

PCI stands for Payment Card Industry, and PCI Compliances are security standards built to ensure safety and security to credit cardholders. This set of security standards is called Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).

In 2006, the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) was launched with the responsibility to manage the Payment Card Industry (PCI) security standards by putting in place a proper security system throughout the credit card transaction procedure. It is a global organization regulating, evolving, and promoting Payment Card Industry standards. This article delivers the information with respect to PCI Compliance.

What is PCI?

  • PCI is Payment Card Industry.
  • To regulate the security system of credit cards, Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) are set up. The companies that follow PCI DSS are said to be PCI compliant.
  • The Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) manages the PCI DSS.
  • PCI DSS includes 12 primary requirements, base requirements of 78, and test procedures of 400.
  • PCI DSS is applicable to all organization that accepts/ transmits/ stores any data of cardholder irrespective of the size or number of transactions.

What is PCI Compliance?

PCI compliance is a fundamental component of the security protocol of any credit card company. It is mentioned by credit card companies in credit card network agreements.

These compliances are mandatory for credit card companies to ensure the security of transactions through credit cards. The 12 major requirements covered under the Security Standards includes:

  • Installation and maintenance of firewall configuration
  • Avoid the use of defaults system passwords (provided by the vendor)
  • Safeguard the stored data of the cardholder
  • Encryption of cardholder data transmission across networks
  • Update anti-virus software/ programs frequently
  • Maintain proper security systems
  • Access to cardholder data must be restricted
  • A distinctive ID to be assigned to each person with access to the data
  • Physical access to cardholder data to be restricted
  • Keep trail of each access to data
  • Keep a check on security systems and processes
  • Design and maintain the policy for dealing with information security for all personnel

What are the benefits of PCI Compliance?

  • Theft, fraud, data breaches of sensitive information belonging to cardholders can be prevented.
  • Proper maintenance and assessment of security systems can help the companies provide compliance reports regularly as per the agreements.
  • Credit card processing companies can avoid fines/ penalties for not fulfilling the compliances of card processing agreements.
  • The company can maintain its brand reputation.
  • Companies can offer secure payment solutions, which will lead to more satisfied customers.

Safeguarding the data of cardholders is not just a good business practice, but it is the right thing to do, which ensures that people do not suffer any financial loss. Although it might be hard and burdensome to maintain such levels of security, the benefits against such efforts are worth it. The companies must comply with these security standards as any failure could lead to significant consequences.

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