The digital world has taken over, and although it has provided a large amount of convenience, it has also put private information more at risk. Hackers are constantly finding ways to access private information, such as the Target breach of 2013. During this event, thousands of Target customers found that their financial information was hacked, and these hackers were able to make purchases using this information.

Because the digital age can put private information at risk, it’s very important that companies ensure they are PCI compliant. This means that your business adheres to requirements, policies, and procedures that ensure your customers’ and clients’ private information is safely stored, eliminating the risk of damaging data breaches.

PCI compliant business
photo credit: Perspecsys

In order to ensure that your company is PCI compliant, it’s important to use the following security metrics to ensure you have a secure payment environment.

Ensure you follow the PCI DSS Standards.

There are certain standards you need to meet in order to be PCI compliant, so it’s very important that you take a good hard look at the standards and compare it to the equipment and practices your company is currently using and implementing. If you notice any discrepancies, be sure to address and alleviate these issues as soon as possible in order to ensure your company is and continues to be PCI compliant. You can access the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards here.

Ensure you have the right equipment.

Take a good hard look at your IT inventory. Assess whether or not the equipment has any faults or if there is any way that your clients’ information could be exposed with this equipment. Look at how a cardholder’s data is transferred throughout the transaction process. Check your PIN terminals to ensure they have passed PCI compliance standards and have not been mishandled or damaged in any way that could cause a breach of information. If you do find any issues with your equipment, you will want to get this equipment fixed or replaced as soon as possible.

accepting credit card payment

Take a self-assessment questionnaire (SAQ).

PCI SAQs are tools that can help your company ensure you’re PCI compliant through four separate assessments and situations. Some of these assessments can be done on your own to ensure you have the best practices in place, and others allow PCI DSS professionals to come in and access your equipment and processes for you to ensure you are PCI compliant. If you are not skilled in PCI DSS compliance, then using a professional can be the best route to take to ensure your company is always safe from data breaches.

Keep in close contact with financial institutions.

As a business, you are required to send PCI compliance reports to the financial institutions you do business with. These reports are done and sent quarterly, but some larger companies with bigger revenue streams are required to do more than one per quarter. Be sure that you are sending these reports to not only stay PCI compliant, but to also build a good reputation with the financialinstitutions you partner with. This strong partnership can help you work in tandem to create and maintain the best possible strategies to stay PCI compliant and keep customers’ information safe.