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Debunk PCI Compliance Myths - The Top 5 PCI Compliance Myths

Updated Mon, January 30, 2023 12:50 EST

The PCI DSS was launched back on September 7th, 2006. The objective was to manage the PCI security standards and improve account security during the transaction process. Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard is responsible for administering and managing the PCI DSS. It is upon the payment brands to make sure that they comply with the rules and regulations set forth by PCI DSS.

The challenges of PCI Compliance

These days, PCI compliance is mandatory for any company or organization that works with card data. The fundamental challenge for keeping up with PCI compliance regulations is that they are highly extensive, and therefore, most organizations find it daunting to stay compliant with them. There are a lot of misconceptions and myths associated with the payments industry Making matters even more complicated. It means organizations are not even sure what it means to be fully compliant with the PCI regulations. Merchants may feel tempted to only comply with the standards that make logical sense for their professional activities. They may feel like doing enough to stay protected in crucial areas. Since they think that a security breach is rather unlikely. Some merchants may even dismiss the need for PCI compliance altogether.

The problem of not being compliant with PCI standards is that it leads to financial damages from data breaches, a loss of trust from customers, and even significant fines implemented by the credit card companies, and serious lawsuits. Hence, organizations must be clear about their requirements to adhere to PCI compliance regulations.

Here are the top 5 PCI compliance myths you need to be aware of.

PCI is for the e-commerce business enterprises

Merchants think they need to comply with the PCI regulations if only they are into the e- commerce business. However, the truth is that PCI compliance applies to all kinds of businesses that involve storing, processing, and transmitting cardholder information. It can be for an e- commerce platform in a point-of-sale or POS system used in a store, a virtual terminal, or a standalone terminal. If you are an in-store merchant looking to work with credit card data, then you need to keep in mind that POS devices occasionally require users to store the track data along with transactions. However, this process is against the PCI DSS regulations, and it can lead to heavy fines against you from the various banks involved. Hence, you should choose your POS device carefully to avoid any untoward incidents from happening. It applies to payment gateways. All vendors must comply with the PCI regulations.

Small businesses are not required to bother about PCI until the time their business expands and grows

This statement could not be farther away from the truth. The reality is a small business should emphasize PCI compliance. Cybercriminals and hackers frequently target small businesses with poor data security measures than larger enterprises. It does not matter whether the size of the business is large or small. They must stick to PCI compliance regulations as long as they work with sensitive card data. It means that once a business firm starts operating, it should be abreast with all the PCI requirements and be compliant with them.

Businesses can be compliant with PCI if it adheres to most of the criteria

There are a lot of merchants that believe that if they stick to the majority of the conditions and rules associated with PCI, they are compliant with PCI. However, this is not true, and this mindset can make them vulnerable to different security breaches. Even if you fail to follow only a single PCI regulation, you cannot be considered compliant with the PCI rules. To be compliant, you must comply with all the requirements. Do not try choosing only those standards that you think are reasonable or logical for your business. Whether you realize the importance of a particular compliance rule, you must follow it to be completely secure against potential attacks. As soon as you fail to adhere to a single standard, you put your customers at risk. Complete PCI compliance is necessary to protect the cardholder's information. However, this is only the minimum standard. You may implement additional security measures to enhance the security of the data systems.

PCI needs the merchants to store the cardholder information

It is not mandatory for PCI to store the cardholder data. Moreover, PCI strongly discourages the processors and merchants from storing the data. It is illegal to store the data obtained from magnetic stripes on the backs of credit cards. If the merchant needs to preserve the information found on the front of a credit card, like account numbers and customer names, then such information must be kept encrypted.

Merchants can choose to store any data they want

It is important to note that the merchants do not own or have rights to any customer data. Hence, businesses cannot store or access any information they would like to support their business requirements. PCI strictly forbids all merchants from stocking credit card numbers, pin blocks, CVVs or CVV2s, and PINs. If such data gets detected in the company database, audit trails, or logs, legal action can be taken against them.

Keeping track of the myths above is a way to ensure that a company knows what it takes to be compliant with the PCI Compliance regulations. You can also click here to know more about PCI Compliance.

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