What Do I Need to Know about PCI DSS Compliance?

According to data from the FTC, 42,545 consumers filed fraud reports in 2022, involving credit cards. The rise in cashless and contactless payments underscores the need to protect card data.

If you receive money for products or services, it’s important to consider the risks involved with data breaches. You must develop effective security processes outlined in the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). This article will provide all the information you need regarding PCI DSS and PCI DSS compliance.

What is PCI DSS?

PCI DSS, launched in 2006, sets security requirements for organizations handling cardholder data to ensure data security.

Why should I care about PCI DSS?

The PCI DSS aims to make credit card transactions more secure and protect cardholders’ information. The PCI DSS comprises 12 criteria for compliance, organized into six groups known as “control objectives.” Each version of the PCI DSS has categorized these further into 12 specific controls.

The six control objectives are:

  1. Build and maintain a secure network and systems
  2. Protect cardholder data
  3. Maintain a vulnerability management program
  4. Implement strong access control measures
  5. Regularly monitor and test networks
  6. Maintain an information security policy

What data must I protect?

PCI DSS applies to two kinds of payment information:

  • Cardholder data: Cardholder Name, Primary Account Number, Expiration Date, Service Code).
  • Sensitive authentication data (Full Track Data, CAV2, CVC2, CVV2, CID, PINs, PIN Blocks).

Who’s in charge of PCI DSS?

The PCI SSC, which was founded in 2006 by American Express, Discover, JCB International, MasterCard, and Visa, regulates the PCI DSS. Each member has implemented the PCI DSS as part of their technical requirements for data security compliance. They also accept assessors approved by the PCI SSC.

According to the PCI SSC, they devised the framework to improve the protection of global payment account data. They increase awareness, literacy, and adoption by providing support and guidance.

  • Enhance industry engagement and awareness.
  • Refine security criteria and verification processes.
  • Safeguard emerging payment methods.
  • Enhance alignment and uniformity of standards.

What are the 12 controls of PCI DSS version 4?

The 12 requirements are:

  1. Installing and maintaining a firewall configuration to protect cardholder data
  2. Changing vendor-supplied defaults for system passwords and other security parameters
  3. Protecting stored cardholder data
  4. Encrypting transmission of cardholder data over open, public networks
  5. Protecting all systems against malware and performing regular updates of antivirus software
  6. Developing and maintaining secure systems and applications
  7. Restricting access to cardholder data to only authorized personnel
  8. Identifying and authenticating access to system components
  9. Restricting physical access to cardholder data
  10. Tracking and monitoring all access to cardholder data and network resources
  11. Testing security systems and processes regularly
  12. Maintaining an information security policy for all personnel

Which version of PCI DSS is effective right now?

PCI SSC released PCI DSS 4.0 on March 31, 2022, to replace 3.2.1, addressing emerging threats and technologies. 3.2.1 remains valid until March 31, 2024, allowing organizations time to adapt. New requirements take effect by March 31, 2025.

How do I comply with PCI DSS?

Compliance requirements depend on transaction type and volume set by the processing bank. Organizations must protect cardholder data during processing to comply with PCI DSS, even if it’s outsourced.

Do I have to comply with PCI DSS?

PCI DSS isn’t a government regulation but may be included in state laws. It’s a contractual obligation between vendors and card companies, which may entail non-compliance fees.

Does PCI DSS apply to me?

To safeguard cardholder data, it’s imperative to be PCI-compliant if you accept, process, store or transmit it. This goes for businesses of all sizes, regardless of the quantity of transactions.

Organizations that manage customer cards must safeguard cardholder data. They must do this regardless of the means of acceptance (online, in-store, via phone, or on an app). This includes organizations that make use of third-party payment gateways.

How many compliance levels are in PCI DSS?

They divided PCI DSS compliance into four dimensions. Your organization must fulfil one of the four levels depending on the size of the card transactions that you have processed annually. You will ensure your compliance when you follow the rules specific to each level.

  • Level 1: Organizations processing over 6 million transactions per year
  • Level 2: Organizations processing 1 million to 6 million transactions per year
  • Level 3: Organizations processing 20,000 to 1 million transactions per year
  • Level 4: Organizations processing less than 20,000 transactions per year

Refer to the Payment Card Industry website for details about each level.

What if I don’t comply with PCI DSS?

They could ban you from data processing in the future. They will do this because of your high risk of data breaches. The Payment Card Industry will also assess penalties for non-compliance. If you don’t comply, banks and payment services may ignore your existence.

How do I maintain PCI DSS compliance?

Your organization faces constant cyberthreats, so you must maintain full PCI DSS compliance. You must maintain accountability and meet all requirements. Follow every step for necessary compliance.