What E-Commerce Businesses Need To Know About PCI DSS Compliance

Published 2019-08-28T06:00:29 by Bryan Miller

Are you an e-commerce personnel looking for ways to protect your data from internet breaches and threats? With about 90 percent of breaches impacting startups, your concern is justified and necessary.

When it comes to cybercrimes, e-commerce sites have become a major target because they are card-not-present (CNP) channels of payment. This channel opens significant loopholes for fraud. PCI DSS highlights the requirements recommended for every e-commerce company.

These guidelines can help a company safeguard its cardholders’ information. To save your customers from payment fraud, a certified software development company can create a checkout page for you and make it PCI DSS compliant to fully secure your site from fraudsters.

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What Is PCI DSS Compliance?

PCI Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) was initiated by six payment brands including MasterCard, American Express, Visa, JCB, and Discover to protect sensitive customer data and combine it into a single set. The data refers to the credit card number, name, the security code, and the expiration date.

The total outlined compliance requirements are 12. It means you are required to adhere to all 251 sub-requirements highlighted in PCI DSS 3.2 for customer payment information to be fully protected.

Because a PCI DSS highlights a set of baseline requirements on how customer credit card data should be protected, it is largely important. The set standards guide companies in building an internal information security program as well as design it to meet the needs of the organization.

Does Every Business Need To Be Compliant?

Every company that accepts payment through credit cards has to prove its compliance through a self-assessment questionnaire or a qualified security assessor. Compliance requirements vary widely, depending on the payment methods accepted.

If you store the cardholder data of your customers, you are subject to PCI DSS compliance. First, determine your compliance level. Every merchant falls under any of the four levels, depending on the volume of debit or credit card transactions within 12 months.

Level 4 is the most strict. Small and medium-sized businesses fall under the categories of 3 and 4. Unfortunately, there is a misconception among level 3 and 4 merchants who believe that they do not need to be compliant.

It is worth noting that non-compliance is as costly as a breach. If you do not plan on being PSI compliant, then you must not process, store, or transmit any information of your cardholders on your servers.

The Repercussions Of Ignoring PSI Compliance

PCI in itself may not be a law, but it is a standard created to guide businesses on how to handle financial processes. Your business will face legal action for not being PCI compliant. However, if your business gets involved in bleach, your e-commerce could be legally accountable. An audit would then reveal that you were not PCI compliant at the time.

Should you fail to comply with PCI DSS and get involved in bleach, depending on the degree of the impact, you could be subject to costly forensic audits, monetary fines, hefty card replacement costs, and a potential lawsuit. In addition to the penalties originating from the credit card companies, your enterprise may also be subject to other penalties from the bank.

Worse still, the risk of violating customer trust by not protecting card data could have a lasting impact on your business. A security incidence can wreak havoc on your revenue, traffic, and reputation. Consequently, your enterprise could potentially face termination from the bank or suffer increased per-transaction processing fees.

Beware of hackers accessing your website and compromising your data

Why Do Cybercriminals Target Small Businesses?

Online shopping is rapidly increasing in popularity, and e-commerce businesses have become a major target for cybercriminals looking for credit card details that can be easily stolen. Ever wondered why cybercriminals hack small enterprises while they could walk away with millions of payment records in large organizations?

The simple reason is; only a few enterprises are PCI compliant. Hackers make use of automated scripts to scan for vulnerabilities in online stores and then access. They find it easier to hack thousands of small businesses than one large retailer. If you accept payments through credit or debit cards, you are a potential candidate of bleach.

PCI compliance guides you on different ways of protecting sensitive data if you accept payment through a mobile device, at a physical point of sale, and online means. Compliance can be achieved through accepting EMV chip cards and through securing the infrastructure, hardware, software, networks, and payment processes of your business. You can also identify a certified auditing firm that helps small businesses to detect vulnerabilities.

Because your e-commerce will always have some level of risk, security should be a continuous process. A good e-commerce security strategy calls for diligence and assessment. Complying with the PCI DSS requirements is an excellent way of promoting trust and loyalty among your clients.

Bryan Miller

Bryan Miller

Bryt Designs

Bryan Miller is an entrepreneur and web tech enthusiast specializing in web design, development and digital marketing. Bryan is a recent graduate of the MBA program at the University of California, Irvine and continues to pursue tools and technologies to find success for clients across a varieties of industries.

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