PCI Compliance

Level Up Your PCI DSS Compliance

Written by Emmy Lippold

What does it mean to be PCI Compliant?

The PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry - Data Security Standards) regulations were initiated by 5 of the world's leading credit card organisations in order to provide a mandatory level of protection for consumers by ensuring that merchants meet minimum levels of security when they store, process, and transmit cardholder data.

Who do the standards apply to? 

The PCI DSS levels apply to all merchants, processors, acquirers, issuers and service providers, regardless of size or number of transactions, that accept, transmit or store online any cardholder data.

These regulations help to both protect consumers and prevent fraud or loss of cardholder data. 

PCI compliance involves a variety of measures including a self-assessment questionnaire and quarterly external vulnerability scans or on-site data security assessments.

So, why is PCI compliance important, and which level is right for you?

Trust with customers is foundational to the e-commerce model. Your customers not only trust that they'll receive the product or service as advertised, they also trust that you will process or store their payment details securely. 

Meeting the international standards is not only a requirement, it also gives consumers a higher level of confidence in your business and platform. In the event that customer card data is compromised, you could owe significant fines or even lose the ability to process payment cards altogether.

The threats against e-commerce sites require careful attention to prevent. Common threats include: 

-Card 'skimming' malware can capture payment details entered on your site

-DDoS attacks can flood your network and take your entire website down in a costly mess

-Infected website content which spreads spam and malware to users

-Loss of revenue if your customers are re-directed to fake sites to complete their transactions

PCI DSS compliance requires you to have multiple layers of security through firewalls that are properly configured. You also need an overall IT security strategy that evolves based on current threats and monitors your network for unpatched holes or lapsed updates.

This automatically puts you on solid footing against the most common cyber security threats against your business.  

The 'Security Standards Council' who define and enforce PCI regulations have outlined 4 different levels of requirements for businesses.

The PCI DSS merchant levels include:

  • Level 1: Merchants with over 6 million transactions a year, across all channels or any merchant that has had a data breach
  • Level 2: Merchants with between 1 million and 6 million transactions annually, across all channels
  • Level 3: Merchants with between 20,000 and 1 million online transactions annually.
  • Level 4: Merchants with fewer than 20,000 online transactions a year or any merchant processing up to 1 million regular transactions per year

At SysGroup, we have achieved Level 1 Service Provider status.

We can help you to evaluate your PCI DSS requirements as well as offer full compliance and necessary monitoring when you host in our secure datacentres. We provide PCI DSS hosting to organisations in the travel, merchant services and e-commerce sectors and more.

When you choose PCI DSS hosting with us, we help you to fulfil and maintain PCI standards through:

-Thoroughly reviewing your current systems and processes

-Determining which level you fit into

-Developing a cost-effective and compliant hosting environment

-Assisting your team through the assessment process and beyond

-Monitoring your network for security threats and adjusting as your business changes and grows

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