PCI compliance or payment-card industry compliance involves adhering to a set of specific security standards. It is required by all card brands and applies to all companies (no matter the size) that accept credit card payments. These standards were developed in order to protect card information for a financial transaction during and after it. To follow PCI, involves six direct requirements.
1. They must protect cardholder data. Protecting this data usually involves encrypting transmissions of cardholder data across public networks and taking initiative to protect any stored data for customers.
2. Building and maintaining a secure network is a vital requirement for PCI. To do this a business must install and maintain a firewall configuration. This protects customer data. They must also attend to smaller security details such as not using the default passwords for systems and changing their passwords often.
3. Another PCI requirement is to sustain a vulnerability management program. There are many options available for anti-virus software and a variety of choices for secure applications. A business must actively work to keep these elements in check.
4. Maintaining an information security policy will help a business keep their security in check. They should always hold themselves against this policy and it’s standards.
5. A company should always be regularly monitoring and testing its networks. This involves not only the networks themselves, but the security systems and processes involved as well. Access to cardholder data should always be closely watched.
6. Implementing strong access and control measures is an important facet of PCI. Cardholder information should be held on a need-to-know basis, the less people that have access the better. Each person with access should have a unique ID.
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