Understanding PCI Data Security In 2022

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The level of attacks received in the financial sector is quite heart-wrenching. This has called for strengthened security on financial data and everything sensitive in that sector. In addition, credit cards and debit cards should also be given more attention in handling cardholder data protection.

This is especially because of the sensitive data available to merchants and businesses. As a result, some leading companies came up with a standard referred to as PCI DSS, which is geared towards securing the card-processing ecosystem further from being vulnerable.

At first glance, it can be difficult to grasp what PCI DSS is about, but organizations looking to protect cardholder data should consider the PCI requirements checklist by NordLayer. However, this article will also help to have a background understanding of PCI Data Security In 2022.

So, What Does PCI Data Security Mean?

The PCI Data security, otherwise referred to as PCI DSS, is an acronym for Payment Card Industry Security Standard which places demand for safe and secure acceptance, storage, processing, and transmission of cardholder data during an ongoing transaction, to avert data breaches, theft, and fraud.

PCI is a set of controls, features, and obligations that business owners must execute to effectively handle credit card data to frustrate the possibility of being compromised. In other words, it can be said to guide the activities of companies in securely managing credit card account numbers and payment card data to improve how secure their collection, storage, and transmission are.

Leading credit card companies involved in the PCI DSS are American Express, Visa, Discover Financial Services, JCB International, and Mastercard. These companies have a council, the PCI SSC, that formed a set of data security standards known as PCI DSS to reduce the fraudulent events on credit cards. The PCI SSC is responsible for providing, maintaining, promoting, and evolving the security standards that affect credit cards. They are also concerned with providing service providers and merchants the tools to implement the PCI standards, such as a self-assessment questionnaire (SAQ), assessment and scanning qualifications, product certification programs, and training and education.

Meeting the PCI standards involves following multiple guidelines covered in the PCI requirement checklist. The checklist involves diverse technical guidelines for apps receiving electronic payments on smart devices available in section 4 of the PCI Mobile Payment Acceptance Security Guidelines for Developers, in addition to an advanced overview of app shielding software that can achieve the requirements possible.

An overview of the checklist includes how you harden your applications, how you provide an indication of a secure state, how to prevent unauthorized logical device access, how to protect your mobile app from malware, how to prevent escalation of privileges, how to report unauthorized access and create server-side controls, how to protect the mobile app from unauthorized applications, and how to ensure secure coding, testing, and engineering.

The PCI DSS Compliance Levels

PCI DSS has four compliance levels and has unique requirements for companies to validate their compliance. The compliance level a company falls under depends on its total transaction volume yearly.

Fees to becoming PCI compliant and retaining good standing range from approximately $1,000  to over $50,000. It all depends on business size.

Is There a PCI Noncompliance Fee

While non-compliance can have a dire consequence on a business, some fees can be associated with it. Suppose your business falls short of meeting the PCI standard. In that case, you could risk incurring fines, data breaches, card replacement costs, brand damage, costly forensic audits, and investigations into your business, among others.

PCI Compliance Benefits

PCI Noncompliance may not attract direct legal actions against your business but complying comes with immense benefits, especially when your company works with major payment card networks like Mastercard and Visa.

Compliance doesn’t have to appear tedious. It can also be better implemented with the right tools in place. Achieving the right level of PCI DSS helps your company to;

  • Build solid bonds and trust with customers and partners.
  • Harness different payment processors to create a secure online marketplace.
  • Reduce the risks and possibility of a data breach.
  • Partner with card issuers and start your payment card.

Finally, it helps you build compliance easily with other compliance standards like HIPAA or GDPR since the frameworks share related controls.

Who Needs PCI DSS Compliance?

All companies involved in storing, processing, and transmitting credit card information must adhere to the PCI DSS compliance requirements.

The program generally covers all merchants, developers, processors, credit card issuing banks, intermediaries, and other organizations involved in dealing with cardholders’ data. It is required to ensure that there is no aspect of the system that is vulnerable to theft and fraud. As a rule of thumb, if your business comes in contact with credit card information, you may be regulated by PCI DSS.