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The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a set of data protection mandates developed by the major payment card companies and imposed on businesses that store, process, or transmit payment card data. As part of their contracts with the card companies, merchants and other businesses that handle card data may be subject to fines if they fail to meet the requirements of PCI DSS compliance.

PCI Compliance

These requirements are extremely complex, and often require a high-level PCI compliance checklist to help organizations in providing an initial introduction to the PCI DSS. Some organizations may even benefit from developing a detailed PCI compliance checklist to guide their implementation of these standards.

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The Consequences of not being PCI Compliant

The purpose of you becoming compliant with PCI security standards is to help in protecting cardholder’s sensitive data from thieves.  If you fail to become PCI compliant, you run the risk of your business experiencing payment card data breaches and theft, which may result in considerable penalties and consequences such as:

  • Fines from Banks
  • Fines from Regulatory Agencies
  • Fines from Card Organizations
  • Fraud
  • Chargebacks
  • Lost Clients
  • Legal Costs

Also, if you fail to become PCI DSS compliant or to report your PCI DSS-compliant status via a third-party vendor to your merchant services provider, you may also be charged a monthly fee until these reports are made. In addition, organizations that experience a data breach may also lose their ability to process credit card payments, which can result in a damaged reputation, or worse, loss of clients. In fact, recent research shows that more than 40% of clients who have been victims of fraud stop doing business with the merchant or vendor where the fraud occurred.

The 12 High-Level Requirements on the PCI Compliance Checklist

At a summary level, the PCI compliance checklist for merchants and other organizations that handle payment card data consists of 12 requirements mandated by the PCI DSS, here is a list of these requirements:

  • Install and maintain a firewall configuration to protect cardholder data.
  • Do not use vendor-supplied defaults for system passwords and other security parameters.
  • Protect stored cardholder data.
  • Encrypt transmission of cardholder data across open, public networks.
  • Use and regularly update anti-virus software.
  • Develop and maintain secure systems and applications.
  • Restrict access to cardholder data by business need-to-know. Assign a unique ID to each person with computer access. Restrict physical access to cardholder data.
  • Track and monitor all access to network resources and cardholder data.
  • Regularly test security systems and processes.
  • Maintain a policy that addresses information security.

Organizations must assess their current compliance with these operational and cyber security requirements, remediate any vulnerabilities, and report their compliance status to the payment card companies that they work with. Medium to large-sized merchants are also subject to a yearly audit by an independent assessor.

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How Hammett Technologies Can Help You Cross Items Off Your PCI Compliance Checklist

Our solutions effectively meet the needs of small businesses like yours. You get the benefit of years of distilled experience from PCI compliance and security expertise in an easy-to-use package that is cost-effective for you. Our PCI solution includes Enterprise-level security made easy, such as:

  • File Integrity Monitoring (FIM)
  • Remote Access Security
  • Point of Sale Device Monitoring
  • Mobile Security
  • Anti-Virus
  • And much more

The best part, you don’t have to be an IT expert to install and maintain the tools. Our team of experts will take care of it all for you, this includes:

  • Standing by your business through the entire process, answering questions and attending meetings on your behalf as your technology partner.
  • Simplify PCI compliance efforts with our industry vetted security policies, an automated workflow that reduces time spent responding to audits and questions.
  • Save money by using our proven, integrated security solutions that we bundled into one affordable package.

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