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What is PCI Compliance and Why Is It So Important for Your Business?

The very last thing you want to tell your customers is that your website has been hacked — releasing personal and financial information into the hands of cybercriminals. There are still millions of people who avoid eCommerce because of security concerns.

Making sure your eCommerce website or mobile applications are PCI compliant is one of the best ways to protect your business and your customers from hackers. Defined by the credit card industry, PCI compliance is a set of operational and technical standards that are implemented by proactive businesses that accept credit cards or transmit credit card information to processors. These standards are officially called Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) and are maintained by the PCI Compliance Security Standards Council. 

PCI DSS Compliance Offers Protection for Your Credit Card Transactions

While it’s easy to see the importance of maintaining a high level of security for credit card transactions, many companies find the standards too onerous or confusing to implement. With over 400 test procedures, 12 key requirements, 78 base requirements and six major objectives, it’s easy to see how a small to mid-size business could quickly become overwhelmed.

The government doesn’t technically mandate PCI compliance for all merchants who are processing credit card transactions. However, a certain level of PCI compliance is considered mandatory for merchants that are transmitting credit card information.

Maintaining Security Best Practices for Your Business

The core tenets of PCI compliance are based on solid recommendations for any organization and can help create a more secure environment:

  1. Build and Maintain a Secure Network and Systems
  2. Protect Cardholder Data
  3. Maintain a Vulnerability Management Program
  4. Implement Strong Access Control Measures
  5. Regularly Monitor and Test Networks
  6. Maintain an Information Security Policy

Each of these standards is aimed at reducing the possibility that cardholders will have their sensitive personal and financial information stolen.

Benefits of Adhering to PCI Compliance Standards

While PCI compliance standards are required by credit card processing agreements, it’s easy to see how they can also benefit your customers — and your business. When your company is faced with a significant cybersecurity breach, it can easily cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to remediate any breach. The costs associated with a security breach can be staggering, particularly when you include negative public opinion and lost sales into your analysis.

Don’t risk substantial fines from your credit card processing partners for negligence or failure to maintain these standards. The team at BC Networks are experts at PCI compliance, able to answer your questions about cybersecurity and how to maintain a secure, reliable IT infrastructure. Contact us at 408-214-4490 to get the inside track on ensuring your business is fully protected against cybercriminals and internal data breaches.