Technology exists to simplify our lives but also presents its own unique set of challenges.
Technology is wonderful, yes – technology enables consumers worldwide to visit one website and, with a short series of clicks, make a purchase, and those items can show up at your door in two days or less. The money for those items magically transfers from your bank account or credit card company, and consumers no longer have to take more than a few moments of their day for the task at hand.
This modern convenience is pretty incredible, but it’s not without risk. After all, who hasn’t received notification of a data breach requiring credit or debit cards to be reissued with new account numbers?
In 2006, the major credit card companies agreed on the need for an external oversight body to ensure consistency with payment card transaction security processes. The Payment Card Industry (PCI) Security Standards Council defines the standards and outlines the requirements to which anyone who accepts credit card payments must comply.
The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) has dozens of requirements organized into six key areas:
While each of these areas focuses on different aspects of technology and your IT environment, they have one common thread: protecting cardholder data to minimize credit card fraud. Unauthorized access to cardholder data, the leading cause of exposed records and data breaches, puts your business at greater risk of data theft and opens cardholders and credit card companies to credit card fraud.
PCI DSS reinforces the objective for you: to ensure your payment card transactions are secure and payment cardholder data is protected. Cardholder financial account information is transmitted with each payment card transaction, and the data storage and transmission are where the risk is the greatest.
The detailed requirements are summarized in a shorter version, the PCI DSS Quick Reference Guide – still not a “quick” read, helping businesses get the basics on what steps to take to be PCI DSS compliant. Technology won’t help you read the details of the requirements any faster, but being fully PCI compliant will ensure your technology protects your data and safeguards cardholder information.
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