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Why does your business need PCI compliance? 

 
Whether your business is a small start-up or large multi-site corporation, it is of vital importance to comply by the PCI (Payment Card Industry) standards. Even if your business does not take credit or debit card information from its customers, this standard still applies. Why? Because it is vigilant, thorough and protective in the way it guards against unwanted attacks and security breaches. It is security to the highest standard. 

So, what are PCI standards and how can they benefit you and your customers? Here’s what you need to know:
 

What is PCI?

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is an internationally recognised standard of conduct surrounding the way you use and store personal credit and debit information belonging to your customers, making it a stringent security protection. The proper adherence to this standard requires the use of a PCI compliant hosting provider, such as Storm. Only then can you thoroughly meet the 12 high-level requirements, laid out below.
 

The Key Advantages Of PCI Compliance

Protection from fraud is the primary advantage of being PCI compliant. This applies to both your customers and your business. Stolen data can, quite literally, bring your business to a close. This is why it is important to be PCI compliant even if you do not hold customer credit information, because even the most minor data breach can impact trust from customers and your business could face fines and other legal activity. Being PCI compliant will also help you to be GDPR compliant, strengthening your security systems so that customers have complete faith in the way you handle their data.

But as well as heightened security and increased customer trust, an advantage of being PCI compliant is knowing what to do in case of an attack. Should you detect attempted fraudulent activity, the PCI Standards are laid out for you to follow. You will be better equipped to deal with an emergency quickly and efficiently, minimising damage to your data, and the data belonging to your customers.
 

The 12 Standards of PCI Compliance

The 12 standards of PCI compliance can be organised into 6 categories. These are as follows:

1. Build and Maintain a Secure Network

You are required to have firewall configuration and use passwords that are strong and unique. Storm Internet can help you to achieve this.

2. Protect Customer Data

Using encryption, you are required to do everything in your power to protect your customers’ data. This means never using unsecured Wi-Fi to upload or transfer customer data.

3. Maintain a Vulnerability Management Program

It is crucial that you use a robust anti-viral software to detect threats. Having a secure internet system that suits the size and requirements of your business is something that Storm Internet can help with.

4. Implement Strong Access Control Measures

Only those who need to view confidential information should be doing so. Each staff member must only have access to the data they require to fulfil their role, with all other data restricted using passwords. You should also give each computer user a unique ID so that you can see who is responsible for the activities that arise.

5. Regularly Monitor and Test Networks

It is no use setting up a security system that remains untested for long periods of time. Doing this puts you at risk of having an insufficient system that doesn’t meet your requirements during a real attack. Therefore, you need to regularly evaluate and test your system to ensure you are receiving adequate security coverage.

6. Maintain an Information Security Policy

Knowledge is power, and an Information security policy gives everyone within your business the guidelines to be as secure and PCI compliant as possible. With an Information Security Policy, all staff members within the domain of your organisation or with access to its network will be able to properly comply with guidelines related to digitally stored data.

At Storm Internet, we have expert knowledge of (and full adherence to) PCI standards. Get in touch with us today to learn more.