Are you struggling to obtain PCI DSS compliance?
Regulations regarding the processing of data has significantly increased, which places additional burdens on businesses and organizations. Unfortunately, it doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. All organizations which acquire and/or store data are required to meet certain regulations. Businesses that process financial data are subject to even stricter regulations.
The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) enables organizations to process card payments securely and aims to reduce instances of card fraud. By operating globally, the PCI DSS provides a framework of regulations which all organizations must adhere to if they want to process card payments.
As we move away from a cash-based society, a considerable number of transactions are now made by either debit or credit card. For most businesses, it’s simply unrealistic to imagine they could operate without facilitating card payments. Therefore, PCI DSS compliance is a must for the vast majority of companies.
Related: What is PCI DSS?
What does PCI DSS compliance involve?
The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard has twelve requirements, covering six broad areas. It is designed to protect the data of cardholders so businesses who accept card payments must:
- maintain a secure network
- protect data
- have a vulnerability management program in place
- implement effective access control methodologies
- monitor and test existing networks
- maintain an appropriate information security policy
Of course, there are various ways organizations can achieve these requirements. For example, using encryption to protect data or restricting employee access to cardholder data, are just two ways to protect data and reduce unnecessary access to it.
However, not all businesses are required to validate their PCI DSS compliance in the same manner. This is determined by the organization’s annual transaction volume. There are four set levels.
Why does PCI DSS compliance matter?
If businesses fail to meet the requirements of the PCI DSS, the consequences can be severe. As well as being subject to costly fines, organizations can lose their ability to process card payments. This restriction can greatly inhibit the operation of a business.
Therefore, it is essential that any company who wishes to process card payments finds a way to meet the relevant requirements.
Because most of the PCI DSS regulations pertain to security, organizations rely on their in-house security teams or outsourced specialists to build and maintain the appropriate infrastructure. So in additional to managing threats, security teams must also be familiar with the requirements of data protection regulations, such as the PCI DSS, and know how to adhere to them effectively.
Companies also have to be able to easily prove their compliance. Regular audits are carried out to ensure businesses are employing the PCI DSS regulations and companies may also be subject to unannounced audits and checks.
Achieving PCI DSS compliance
The first step to achieving compliance is to ensure you understand which level of PCI DSS compliance your organization is required to maintain. Although the PCI Security Standards Council has issued a number of guidelines to assist CIOs, CISOs and CFOs, they are somewhat complex and certainly don’t make for easy reading. The PCI DSS Self-Assessment Questionnaire is one way for organizations to validate their compliance. However, it is quite lengthy and includes a range of technical and specialist questions.
In order to achieve compliance, businesses must understand the PCI DSS and how it applies to them. They need to have the ability to interpret the requirements into actionable tasks which can be implemented. Does your staff possess the technical knowledge to build new systems and software to ensure data can be processed safely? Do you have the resources to carry out regular monitoring, testing and audits?
For any business, these requirements are burdensome. However, for smaller businesses with limited resources, it can be extremely difficult to achieve PCI DSS compliance manually. In order to ensure you are able to operate and accept card payments, PCI DSS compliance automation has introduced a new and innovative way of achieving and validating compliance.
Incorporating PCI DSS Compliance Automation
Instead of hiring specialist staff to deal specifically with PCI DSS compliance or adding to your existing IT and security teams, you can automate your PCI DSS compliance activities. With a cloud-based PCI DSS compliance automation tool, businesses can meet the requirements and prove their compliance at any time.
Effective cloud-based platforms ensure compliance by:
- conducting industry-standard scans
- integrating external programs to ensure there is no risk of a data breach
- issuing monitoring tasks at regular intervals
- alerting staff to potential threats
- executing vulnerability management processes
- generating data via easy-to-interpret PCI dashboards
- providing automated reporting techniques
You can rely on your cloud-based PCI DSS automated tool to auto-submit the relevant information to financial institutions and other relevant organizations.
The Wrap up on PCI DSS Compliance
Automating your PCI DSS compliance process is a cost-effective way to ensure you’re operating in accordance with the industry regulations. Achieving compliance manually can be labor intensive and may require numerous staff members to carry out the work. With a dedicated, cloud-based automated tool, you don’t have to rely on manual intervention to prove compliance. This saves time and money.
As well as being cost-saving, an automated system removes the risk of human error. When the processing of card payments plays such an integral role in the functioning of your business, it’s vital you employ robust and reliable methods of achieving compliance. With PCI DSS automation tools, you achieve any level of compliance in a simple, straightforward and cost-effective way.
BitLyft provides security automation tools for your PCI DSS compliance which can help you save time and money. If you’d like to learn more, get in touch with us today to schedule a demo. We’ll help explain the services we offer and how they can be customized to your exact needs and required level of PCI DDS requirements.