Key Concerns for PCI Compliance in Chicago

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As an SMB or Mid-Market there are certain security concerns that present more risk than others. Payment Card Industry (PCI) data breaches are one such concern.






Every business is worried about what a data breach like Target or Neiman Marcus could have on their business. Ensuring these types of breaches do not take place should be ingrained within your corporate culture. Below are some key tips in dealing with PCI DSS (PCI Data Security Standard) at your organization.

Understanding Compliance

Many businesses run on the revenue generated by payment cards, whether they are credit, debit or store generated cards. However these cards come with an inherent risk. This risk is especially poignant that wants total access and complete privacy at the same time. Cardholder data (CHD) is essentially where most security concerns is placed because it is this data that consumers and regulatory bodies want protected.

The new regulations for PCI DSS 3.0, that came into effect at the beginning of 2015 has over 400 controls and regulations to ensure PCI DSS compliance. Recent reviews of corporations reveal that only 11% are fully compliant. Most companies that discover a breach of data realize it is a result because they were not compliant. Being compliant with PCI DSS is an ongoing process, not one that is put in place and forgotten about.

Since the number of controls and sub-controls include your devices, Wi-Fi access points and any information storage device for PCI information, as your business grows or changes there is a point where the compliance may break down. A week after you think you are compliant, an unprotected new Wi-Fi access point could make you immediately out of compliance.

You will first need to realize that getting to a compliant state with 400 controls will take time and effort. Most organizations do not have the manpower to simply do it as it is needed and feel the need to reach beyond their own staffing pools for outside resources.

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Rollout and Review

The one aspect that truly is challenging for SMBs and Mid-Markets is the ongoing nature of PCI compliance. Cardholder data and credit card data is very sensitive and is expected to be protected; not inconsistently but continually. As you rollout procedures to tackle PCI DSS you need to realize that there should be a team tasked to this business critical process on an ongoing basis.

This team should be able to assess current processes, rollout new applications of the security protocols as needed and review Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) protocols on at least a monthly basis. In order to stay in compliance, this team needs to be able to measure compliance success.

Part of the success of any security operation is to have employee buy-in.

Integrated Security Plans

In order to have a PCI compliance program that is continually up to date and working effectively, businesses need a fully integrated security and training program.

First, you should train all employees about security, not just for PCI but across all business security sensitive materials. By creating a corporate culture of security responsibility you can often catch possible vulnerabilities before they become a real problem.

Secondly, a fully fleshed out security plan for your entire business will help establish not only PCI protocols but security for your entire operation. From password management to employee access of sensitive materials, this plan can spell out exactly what needs to be secured, by whom and how it should be done.

Project Help

Businesses spend too much time spinning their wheels and being counter-productive in relation to security. By hiring trained professionals to help with security controls across the board, training and implementation of these protocols become a lot easier. By setting up a project manager in-house that oversees the outside help you can attain employee buy-in and institute real corporate culture change for better security.

PCI DSS is just as important today as it will be tomorrow. Data breaches are becoming unacceptable and expensive for businesses. Ensure you are properly protected.


Would you like to learn more about PCI Compliance? Let's Talk.

Equilibrium IT Solutions, Inc.

PCI Compliance in Chicago

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