Why Should I Comply With A Higher Level of PCI Compliance?

PCI Compliance

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, more commonly known as the PCI-DSS compliance framework, is compulsory for every payment merchant platform that allows debit and credit card transactions. Protecting customers’ personally identifiable information (PII), inserted during transactions, and the confidential card details stored or transmitted when making payments using these payment services is essential.

PCI-DSS reduces the risk of a breach regarding the consumers’ debit and credit card data, which is significant for both vendors and cardholders. Customers need to know that your website is secure and risks a financial loss when using their debit or credit cards to pay for goods or services. A further issue is identity theft. It would be best if you were sure that sensitive data on your website is protected because the number of frauds has increased in recent years.

If you are familiar with PCI-DSS and your company needs to comply with its regulations, or you are associated with an e-Commerce platform and wondering why PCI-DSS should be important to you, then this blog is for you! We will discuss why you should comply with the PCI regulatory standards and, further, why you should do it at a higher level.

Let’s get to it!

Why Should I Comply with the PCI Regulatory Standards?     

Secure Cardholder Data with PCI Compliance

Merchants store customers’ critical authentication credentials and cardholder data on their websites, so Merchants must protect these details. Technology is evolving so quickly that fraud activities are increasing in quantity, and enterprises face numerous difficulties. Each merchant and payment service provider that offers card payment solutions must comply with PCI. Trust (between merchants and customers) should underlie all business dealings, and PCI compliance helps to increase security.

To comply with the PCI Data Security Standard, becoming PCI compliant requires going through a PCI auditing process. PCI compliance is constantly updated and applies to operating a corporation’s administrative and technological aspects. You must incorporate a security strategy into your company because PCI is an ongoing process and duty. To ensure all vulnerabilities potentially exposing cardholder data are repaired, analyze your website and update it frequently.

The PCI DSS guidelines outline twelve requirements for merchants and payment processors divided into six categories. These help the merchants in:

  • Creating a safe network and system;
  • Safeguarding cardholder data;
  • Implement an ongoing vulnerability management program;
  • Putting adequate access and control safeguards in place;
  • Checking and testing networks frequently for breaches; and,
  • Keeping policies for information security

Data breaches affect businesses of all shapes and sizes. Attackers concentrate on any weaknesses. They know that most small businesses lack adequate security and frequently don’t use the most fundamental defenses. On the other side, big players can afford to have pricey protection.

Safeguard from Risks On Data Leaks

You need not be PCI compliant if you use a payment gateway like SecurionPay. Compliance, along with payments and data security, will be handled by the payment provider. Even if the data is entered on your website, the provider protects and encrypts it. When selecting a payment gateway, there are many factors to consider, but you should choose the one with the highest PCI level to ensure that payments received on your page will be more secure. Make a wise choice to ensure your clients’ security.

It is advisable for payment merchants not to store cardholder info if you don’t need it. Using cutting-edge technologies like tokenization, in some cases, you can ensure that your servers do not have access to sensitive information after a certain amount of time.

What are the Different Levels of PCI Compliance?

Based on the number of transactions a payments merchant organization handles each year, there are several levels of PCI compliance that they can choose to comply with. The higher the assigned level, the more stringent an organization must put defenses in place and audit its compliance policies.

The five payment card companies—American Express, Discover, JCB, Mastercard, and Visa—have their compliance programs with unique PCI DSS compliance levels. However, the stages are generally like this:

  • Level 1: Businesses handling more than 6 million card transactions annually;

  • Level 2: Businesses that handle between one and six million transactions yearly;

  • Level 3: Companies that handle 20,000–1,000,000 transactions annually; and,

  • Level 4: Businesses handling under 20,000 transactions annually

Other factors also influence the degree of compliance within an organization. For instance, a higher level might be assigned to those who recently experienced a cyberattack or otherwise constitute a risk to information security.

Why Should my Organization Comply with a Higher Level of PCI Compliance?

The following are the main justifications for upgrading to a stricter validation process:

  1. A desire to have third parties certify that your software as a whole complies with security and industry best practices

Although it takes a little more work, an external Qualified Security Assessor (QSA) review can help identify potential security or compliance vulnerabilities and offer a high degree of assurance that all DSS controls are created and operating as intended.

  1. A strategy for giving your business a sales enabler and marketing differentiation:

The condition of your PCI compliance program is often better described to interested parties by an external QSA-led review. A helpful tool for LI-compliant entities in their marketing toolbox is the ability for compliant companies to include their names in Visa’s list of verified third-party service providers. Demonstrating the most significant degree of compliance can mean winning or losing a deal, frequently a condition of doing business with partners and clients. When PCI DSS compliant, it is considerably simpler to talk to potential customers and business partners about your security and compliance posture.

Companies frequently perform a self-assessment during their first year to prepare for the more demanding ROC validation the following year. When using this strategy, a business can implement all of its technical and administrative controls while still fulfilling its annual compliance obligations.

PCI DSS Compliance with Akitra!

Establishing trust is a crucial competitive differentiator when courting new SaaS businesses in today’s era of data breaches and compromised privacy. Customers and partners want assurances that the organizations they work with are doing everything possible to prevent disclosing sensitive data and putting them at risk. The higher the level of compliance certification, the more reassurance it provides to the customers.

Akitra offers an industry-leading, AI-powered Compliance Automation platform for SaaS companies. Using automated evidence collection and continuous monitoring, together with a full suite of customizable policies and controls, allows us to help our customers become certified for all levels of PCI DSS, along with other frameworks, including SOC 1, SOC 2, ISO 27001, HIPPA, GDPR and NIST 800-53. Our compliance and security experts will also provide the customized guidance you need to navigate the end-to-end compliance process confidently. 

The benefits of our solution include enormous savings in time, human resources, and money — including discounted audit fees with our audit firm partners. Customers achieve compliance certification fast and cost-effectively, stay continuously compliant as they grow, and can become certified under additional frameworks using a single compliance automation platform.

Build customer trust. Choose Akitra TODAY!‍

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