With so many threats coming from around the world targeting a company’s data, which includes their customer’s data, the business industry created PCI compliance standards to protect sensitive information. PCI Compliance is a global mandated set of standards that businesses must implement and follow in order to protect their information, customer information, and transaction information. The purpose is to ensure appropriate security to customers by assuring that businesses meet their security standards.
Once the business implements the PCI standards, and prove they have implemented these standards, they become PCI compliant. There are a number of areas that are common to PCI violation. One such area that needs protection is making sure the business has all of the appropriate applications and hardware devices to prevent hackers. This includes making sure vulnerabilities such as preventing remote hackers from access to file-system read and write capabilities, sealing back door entry, and preventing hackers from leaving Trojans and viruses on the host’s server. Compliance involves such remedies as the appropriate firewalls and host monitoring and tracking.
Another area of compliance violation is businesses not implementing all of the security policies such as not sharing passwords, not writing credit card numbers down on paper, and not properly destroying hard copies of transaction information such as shredding everything before sending it out to be disposed.
Other areas of common PCI violations is hackers penetrating server systems because a business has not acquired assistance from a PCI compliant service provider that constantly monitor, test, and track systems. There are PCI compliant service providers that specialize in monitoring a business’ system remotely to ensure PCI compliance. These companies monitor traffic coming in and out of the businesses host system and will detect any breaches and stop it, and then alert the business right way. As well, these companies reduce the risks of data loss which includes stopping Phishing, spam, Trojan, and virus threats.
Other common areas of PCI violation include hackers gaining access to certain files on the host, directory browsing, security mechanisms, as well as unauthorized use of services such as mail relaying, and hackers gaining access to information that allows them to launch attacks against the host, and gaining access to open ports.
When enlisting the services of a PCI compliant service provider, a business will benefit because their business will have reduced or eliminated vulnerabilities, earn customer trust, protect customer personal data, protect your business from financial penalties and lawsuits, and maintain the host systems infrastructure. The savings one will achieve by using a PCI Compliant Service Provider can be hundreds of thousands of dollars as well as save their business because they stopped an event such as a breach that could have affected millions of customers.
PCI Compliance is not only essential to business security, it is also mandatory. A customer’s information must be protected to prevent credit card fraud and identity theft. Every business should take the appropriate measures such as hiring a PCI Compliance Service Provider. If a business does not remain PCI compliant, the consequences can be devastating such as a company losing millions of dollars, losing customers, and even losing the business.