Does your company employ a secure way to protect your cardholder’s data, process payments or transmit transactions?

What is PCI?

The PCI (Payment Card Industry) Security Standards Council assists you with these protections.  PCI provides tools, measurements and resources to ensure the safe handling of your cardholder’s information through prevention, detection and appropriate reaction to security incidents. Every business owner that accepts, transmits or stores any cardholder data, should be familiar with the term of PCI compliance and have the ability to satisfy the PCI requirements ensures that your merchant services will not run into problems with payment processing.

 The following list outlines the 6 most important categories of the PCI requirements:

Maintaining A Secure Network

In order to guarantee security of your cardholder data, you should install firewall configurations in your system. This will block criminals from extracting your cardholder data, and only authorized users will be able to access and use them. Also, in order to make sure that you are keeping a secure network, you should focus on the security of the hardware and software used to regulate traffic within and into the networks. Otherwise, you might just find criminals constantly stealing your cardholder data due to poor security control.

Protecting Cardholder Data

The second category in PCI Compliance covers the rule of protecting cardholder data. The best way to ensure that your data is protected is to minimize the data you store as well as reduce the total time you spend on storing and retaining such data. Remember that when displaying a card number, the card number should always be masked. Likewise, you must make the numbers unreadable by encrypting them, as they are stored. Systems are able to encrypt the values, a column in the database or even an entire file.

Maintaining a Vulnerability Management Program

If you are serious about information security, you should use antivirus programs and software on a regular basis. With these programs, you will be able to spot possible weaknesses in a business or company’s payment card system. In addition, focus on the procedures regarding security, system designs, implementation as well as internal control to guarantee security of your system. Check out the BIG-IP ASM, software that extracts any uploaded file and transfers the data using an anti-virus scanner. If you take precautions, there is no way the file will leak into the Internet even if it is infected.

Implementing Strong Access Control Measures

This feature is very vital as it either allows or denies an entity’s ability to gain access to a card number. Locks are used to deny access to any document or written record as well as restrict access to computers and wireless networks.

Regularly Monitoring and Testing Networks

Furthermore, it is very important to regularly keep track of and test your network. There should be a process for taking down, monitoring and testing such networks as users can just log on and verify the information with ease. Likewise, testing the security control of your cardholder data automatically spots any vulnerability that requires fixing. Ideally, you should perform routine maintenance on your networks every three months.

Maintaining an Information Security Policy

Last but not least, you should make sure that you keep a policy that will inform your employees and contractors about the importance of preserving information within the company. Similarly, you should enforce policies on the use of information communication technology to ensure that all employees will hold responsibility when it comes to information security.