The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a set of security standards designed specifically for businesses that handle credit card information.
These standards are extremely detailed, covering everything from how users log into your system to what software you can and cannot use on your servers. If you fail to comply with these standards, you could be liable for any credit card fraud that results from it. That’s why so many businesses hire third-party services to help them meet these standards. They provide a third party with necessary information about their security measures, and the third party evaluates their compliance. However, because the standard is so extensive and the consequences of PCI non-compliance are so severe, it’s important to choose a service that has the expertise and experience necessary to help you pass easily.
What to Look for in a PCI Compliance Service
If you’re hiring a third-party service to help you become PCI compliant, you’ll want to make sure that the company you choose has the expertise and experience necessary to get the job done. When evaluating PCI compliance services, make sure you look for a few key things:
- Expertise - Your compliance partner should have experience helping businesses in your industry and/or your geographical area become PCI compliant. If they don’t, they might not understand the unique challenges your business faces, and they might not be able to offer you the guidance you need to meet the standards.
- Reputation - Take a look at the online reviews and testimonials that other customers have written about the company you’re considering. You want a company that has a good track record and plenty of satisfied customers.
- Customer Service - Working with a third-party compliance partner can be stressful. Make sure that the company you’re considering has friendly, helpful staff members who can answer your questions and alleviate any concerns you might have.
Ethics and Compliance Officers
Compliance officers are the individuals who oversee PCI compliance efforts on behalf of a company. They’re responsible for making sure that the company follows all of the rules and regulations outlined in the PCI DSS, and they’re the first point of contact for anyone auditing their compliance. If someone fails your audit, you’ll need an experienced compliance officer to help you figure out how to meet the standards. If you hire an outsourced compliance officer, make sure that he or she is qualified to work in the field. Many compliance officers get their start working for the government, where they gain experience dealing with complex data security regulations. The more experience a compliance officer has, the more likely they are to help you pass your audit the first time.
Security auditors examine the systems and procedures a company uses to protect their data and make sure they meet the PCI DSS standards. Auditors are key members of every PCI compliance team, and they need to be highly trained and experienced professionals who know exactly what they’re looking for when they examine your systems. Make sure that the auditors you hire have experience with your industry, and that they have a strong track record of helping companies pass PCI audits. You also want auditors who are committed to upholding the PCI DSS standards and have a vested interest in helping you succeed. A good auditor will be as invested in your compliance as you are.
Outsourced Network Monitoring
Network monitoring is an important part of PCI compliance, but it can be very time-consuming for businesses that don’t have the in-house expertise to do it well. If you’re stretched too thin to effectively monitor your network, you might not be able to comply with the PCI DSS. That’s why so many businesses hire third-party network monitoring providers to do the heavy lifting for them. Make sure that the company you choose has experience with PCI compliance and can help you monitor all the systems and devices that you need to track. Check to see what types of monitoring tools they use and make sure they’re capable of monitoring the devices and software that you need them to.
A PCI compliance scanner is a tool that allows you to quickly and easily analyze your systems and networks and see how well they meet the PCI DSS. Scanners are a good choice for any company that is serious about compliance because they let you get a good overview of your situation without having to do a lot of extra research and legwork. Make sure that the scanning company you choose has experience helping companies meet the PCI DSS standards. A good scanning company will offer you more than just a report on your compliance level — they should also provide recommendations for how you can improve.
Certification services can help you accelerate your PCI compliance timeline by letting you expedite the process of becoming PCI compliant. You can submit your compliance materials to a certification service and pay them a fee. In return, they’ll take care of the paperwork, submit it on your behalf, and help you get your certification as quickly as possible. Make sure that the certification service you choose is reputable and has a proven track record of helping clients meet the PCI DSS standards quickly. You also want to make sure they have the necessary experience and expertise to help you pass your audit.
Outsourced Compliance Management
Compliance management services help you manage your PCI compliance efforts on an ongoing basis. These companies can help you create a PCI compliance plan, manage your compliance documentation, help you stay up-to-date on the latest PCI DSS standards, and more. They’re ideal for growing businesses that want to remain compliant but don’t have the in-house expertise to do it on their own. Make sure that the compliance management company you choose has experience helping businesses in your industry meet the PCI DSS standards. You also want to make sure that they have a proven track record of success and can show you examples of the work they’ve done successfully in the past.
Phone payment providers - virtual terminals
Phone payment providers like Paytia can be used in place of traditional credit card terminals. They can let you accept credit card payments over the phone or app without the need for expensive POS equipment and without asking customers to read their credit card details to your staff. Secure Virtual Terminals mask all customer credit card data. This means if you are ever accused of losing or misplacing customer card data you can say your business never stored it. If you use a third-party payment service like Paytia, they’ll handle the communication with your bank and provide you with the necessary information to become PCI compliant.
The PCI DSS is a complex set of standards that has a big impact on businesses that handle credit card information. If you don’t comply with these standards, you can be liable for all types of fraudulent charges, including identity theft. That’s why so many businesses hire third-party services to help them meet these standards. They provide a third party with necessary information about their security measures, and the third party evaluates their compliance. However, because the standard is so extensive and the consequences of noncompliance are so severe, it’s important to choose a service that has the expertise and experience necessary to help you pass easily.
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