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PCI Compliance Requirements

PCI Compliance Requirements

Online payments are now common as an increasing number of people engage in ecommerce. While digital transactions are certainly convenient, they also pose risks to all parties involved. Cybercriminals try to compromise credentials and gain unauthorized access to sensitive accounts like those used by banks, vendors, and consumers. Thankfully, various laws and regulations exist to help protect businesses and online shoppers from malicious actors. That’s why we’ve chosen to highlight major PCI compliance requirements in the following checklist.

Related Blog: What is IoT Security? 

What Is PCI Compliance?

In 2006, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, and JCB International worked together to form the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC). This council has been a major advocate of digital transaction safety for years, and PCI compliance continues to be a key component of online payment security. To be PCI compliant, organizations must meet requirements outlined by the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS). This standard aims to ensure that all stored or processed credit card information remains safe and secure over time. 


PCI Compliance Checklist

Consumers expect their personal and financial information to stay private when shopping online. Whether you’re a seasoned merchant, an aspiring entrepreneur, or a frequent online shopper, it’s important to understand PCI compliance before making any credit card purchase. All organizations that offer ecommerce opportunities for their customers should adhere to the following PCI compliance requirements.


  1. Install and configure a secure firewall to safeguard sensitive data
  2. Maintain strong passwords for vital systems and security protocols, and never use vendor-created defaults
  3. Protect all saved cardholder data
  4. Encrypt all cardholder data to be transmitted across public networks
  5. Use up-to-date antivirus software 
  6. Keep all forms of software updated, and maintain all security systems and applications
  7. Restrict access to cardholder information on a need-to-know basis 
  8. Assign unique user IDs to those with network access
  9. Restrict physical access to hardware and facilities
  10. Create access logs to monitor network and cardholder data access
  11. Regularly test critical security systems for vulnerabilities
  12. Create and maintain well-documented policies to address information security


By meeting these criteria, merchants can reduce instances of hacking, identity theft, and unrestricted access to financial accounts and personally identifiable information. Online shoppers also owe it to themselves to be aware of these standards to protect their sensitive data. We recommend that companies and consumers alike avoid any vendor who accepts online payment but can’t verify whether they follow PCI compliance requirements.


Who Needs to Be PCI Compliant? 

In short, all business entities engaged in ecommerce should aim to meet these standards. They’re requirements for a reason, and it’s best to take them seriously. Anyone who processes credit card payments is expected to maintain PCI compliance and regular reporting as outlined by their processing agreement.

Any slip in this regard may lead to devastating short- and long-term results. Payment processors and credit card companies can issue substantial, monthly fines for PCI violations. Repeat offenses often call for even more severe penalties. 

The possible legal consequences alone are enough to show the significance of PCI compliance. Not to mention that a careless attitude towards PCI standards can leave both businesses and consumers open to theft and costly data breaches.


Ask Us about PCI Compliance Requirements

Following PCI compliance requirements is incredibly important for small and large organizations alike. These essential regulations aim to ensure the security of financial accounts and transactions while protecting the privacy of individuals online.

If you’re concerned about the security of your company’s payment processing capabilities or simply have questions about IT best practices, then we hope you’ll reach out and contact us. Our team will gladly help your organization secure, streamline, and improve its network infrastructure before disaster strikes.

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