What Is PCI Compliance?
When companies of any sort accept payment through a credit or debit card, they are supposed to meet a certain information security standard, also known as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard or as the PCI Standard. To achieve PCI compliance, there are several pieces of criteria a business must meet.
Validation to ensure PCI compliance is required either annually or quarterly, with the validation method used accordingly to the volume of transactions handled.
- Smaller volumes are validated using a self-assessment questionnaire.
- Moderate volumes are validated using an external Qualified Security Assessor.
- Larger volumes are validated using a firm-specific Internal Security Assessor.
The world’s top five global payment brands created the PCI compliance framework to reduce credit card fraud. These brands were:
- American Express
When PCI compliance is achieved, this greatly reduces the risks associated with:
- Data breaches
- Paying penalties to courts, customers, and banks
- Initial and reoccurring fines from banks
- Being victim to card scheme operators
What Are the Top Challenges of PCI Compliance?
As with any form of crucial compliance, there are challenges faced by even today’s most modern enterprises when it comes to achieving PCI compliance, making it all the more important to ensure compliance. The top challenges of PCI compliance tend to involve:
- Identifying the right scope
- Understanding how compliance and security differ from one another
- Sustaining compliance after initial implementation
How Do Customers Directly Benefit From PCI Compliance?
When it comes to conducting business over the internet, customers want to know their card data is safe. With PCI compliance, you provide a foundation of trust on which to operate your e-commerce processes. Customers will believe and trust from the beginning that you’ll send their items, and this is key to getting them to make the initial and future purchases. Also, with PCI compliance, the customer benefits because if something was to go wrong with their data, they are reimbursed without hesitation.
Is PCI Compliance Good for Operational Reputation?
Enterprises and large companies enjoy operational growth because of the positive and strong reputations they build. This doesn’t come about because of data breaches. It happens because they can keep data breaches to the minimum by eliminating as many as possible thanks to PCI compliance. If your company is looking for a way to improve its operational reputation, then PCI compliance should be a top priority on your daily list.
Can PCI Compliance Give a Competitive Edge?
In 2015, a Verizon PCI Compliance Report stated, “Of all the companies investigated by our forensics team over the last 10 years following a breach, not one was found to have been fully PCI DSS compliant at the time of the breach.” Does this mean PCI compliance can actually prevent these breaches? Apparently, many companies don’t think so because HashedOut by The SSL Store says in October of this year (2020) that only 27.9% of organizations are achieving PCI compliance, which is alarming considering that the number of data breaches continues to increase. What does this mean for companies that are seriously reconsidering their current PCI compliance practices? It means it puts them within the ability to grasp a competitive edge with full PCI compliance. Why? Because PCI compliance deters data breaches and, as we mentioned before, it keeps finances and reputations in check.
Will PCI Compliance Help Business Processes Last Longer?
Ultimately, yes. And it’s because PCI compliance provides a competitive edge, ensures a stronger and more reputable brand, builds trust with customers and clients, and directly benefits both them and the business itself in a variety of ways.