PCI security compliance is something every business (at least those who deal with credit card transactions) has to deal with at some point. PCI compliance ensures that all data sent and received during a credit card transaction is dealt with appropriately and protects the sensitive information of the purchaser.
Recently, third party processors and banks have been tightening up their oversight of the businesses they work with. As a result, business owners are now required to get PCI compliant ... fast! While compliance standards vary depending on the size of your business, there are a few things everyone can (and must) do to become PCI compliant and avoid those nasty fines.
The PCI Security Standards Council recommends these three steps:
Take an inventory of your technology processes and analyze potential weaknesses. This is an important step to ensure that all of your internal systems are up to par with the current standards. Software (especially bookkeeping software), firewalls, external storage, Internet connections, and many more aspects of your system must be updated to prevent non-compliance.
Remediate any weaknesses. It is important to take care of any security issues immediately to avoid penalties. The most glaring non-compliance issues relate to storing credit card information. No credit card information should be stored on your computer. There are various ways to process and store information securely.
Report your action to the banks and card companies with whom you do business. Once you fix your practices and update your systems, it’s important to document your efforts. This documentation should be sent periodically to the banks and card companies who have oversight to your credit card transactions.
With strict PCI enforcement beginning this holiday season, it’s time to get your processes in order (no one wants to deal with penalties or fees, especially around the holidays).
The Computer Guys USA are your one-stop-shop for PCI compliance issues. Give us a call at (928) 468-0000 and we’ll perform a free audit on your system to make sure you are up and running with the latest security measures. We’ll advise you on exactly what it will take to secure your system. We can also create and submit the appropriate documentation needed to prove that you are in compliance.
Make sure you’re ready to swipe those credit cards during the Christmas rush.