Credit card companies have mandated payment card industry (PCI) compliance to ensure the security of transactions for companies that store, process, and transmit credit card information. PCI compliance encompasses operational and technical standards followed by businesses to protect and secure the data of credit cards provided by cardholders.
PCI Security Standards Council is the regulatory body responsible for managing PCI standards. To avail of any PCI compliance service, you need to follow a requirement checklist. The requirements are listed below:
Use firewall configuration
You need to maintain a secured network by using firewalls that block access to foreign entities. PCI compliance for small business requires a proper configuration to protect the card data environment. It is crucial in protecting the customers’ credit card information and safeguarding business in the long run. Firewalls restrict outgoing and incoming network traffic through criteria and rules developed by specific organizations.
Modems, routers, point of sale systems, wireless access points, and third-party products often have generic passwords that are easily accessible. These default passwords and usernames are easy to guess and must not be used. You are also required to maintain an inventory of configuration and systems procedures that must be followed every time a system gets introduced with the IT infrastructure.
Cardholder data protection
The most important aspect of the PCI compliance service is ensuring the protection of cardholder data. You need to know which data needs to be stored, emphasizing the specification of the retention period and location. Card data should be encrypted with algorithms, hashed, tokenized, or truncated.
Encryption of transmitted data
When transmitted across a public or open network, you need to secure card data. You must know from where you will receive the data and send your data. The card data is mainly transmitted to a processor or payment gateway for processing, increasing the chance of compromising the data.
Use antivirus software
You must develop protection against different types of malware that may affect your devices. The PCI compliance solutions also need antivirus programs to be updated regularly to prevent known malware from infecting the systems.
Maintain system security
It is crucial to implement processes allowing identification and classification of risks of security vulnerabilities. Organizations need to deploy patches that include operating systems, routers, databases, etc., to prevent exploits.
Access control measures require a PCI compliance service provider to deny or allow access to data systems. You also need to have a documented list of all users and their respective roles who can use the platform.
Use a unique ID
You need to have complex passwords and unique identifiers to access cardholder data. It would ensure that whenever one accesses the data, the activity is traced to another known user, and accountability is thoroughly maintained.
Protect physical access
It is essential to protect physical access to cardholder data. In the absence of adequate controls, an unauthorized individual could access the critical systems.
The vulnerabilities in wireless and physical networks enable unauthorized access and seating of data. The systems must have the correct audit policy, and logs are sent to a centralized server.
Test security processes and systems
Vulnerabilities are detected continuously; hence, processes and systems need to be tested frequently to maintain security. A wireless analyzer must be used to identify and detect unauthorized and authorized access points. External domains and IPs also need to be scanned. All external domains and IPs must be tested after significant changes.
Employees, software, and equipment inventory with access to cardholder data must be documented and reviewed yearly. Additionally, information flow, storage, and use as a point of sale need documentation.