Sometimes simple compliance isn't sufficient. Information security is complex and can demand a lot of attention.
The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) sets the security requirements for any and all businesses that interact with customer credit card payments. The goal of PCI DSS is to fend of data breaches, but sometimes simply being compliant to the rules doesn’t provide sufficient security.
How can you revamp your PCI compliance to increase protection? Here are 4 ideas.
1. Update your technology
While this might sound obvious, the importance of using up to date products still appears to be overlooked. The failure to update software and data breach prevention policies within Home Depot lead to a data breach that compromised 56 million credit cards in 2014. Take advantage of the security benefits of new technology, and make sure to educate your employees on the updates. New software is pointless if no one knows how to use it. Paying attention to these updates is not only helpful, but absolutely essential to the security of your information as the looming threat of data breaches only increases.
2. Understand that compliance does not equal security
Just because your security program complies with the PCI DSS doesn’t means you’ve achieved the utmost protection. The expectations of the PCI DSS detail the minimum a company must do to protect credit card information. No customer wants to give their personal information to a company who only takes minimum effort to secure it. If that’s not enough motivation to up your standards, consider the 2013 Nieman Marcus data breach, despite their efforts to exceed the PCI DSS requirements.
3. Don’t ignore web applications
It’s all fine and well to dedicate a lot of attention to network security, but if your web applications are obliged to PCI compliance as well, then you might want to start divvying up your care. It is crucial to always be aware of any updated requirements in the PCI DSS regarding web applications. To ensure the security of your web apps at any time, try running a web application security test. To go above and beyond, try using software that specializes in mobile file transfer to work with not only the apps, but also all security activities from your phone.
4. Avoid storing payment information longer than necessary
The longer credit card information is stored, the riskier it becomes- especially if it’s on paper. Credit card information should always be encrypted, whether it’s being transferred or not. The best way to avoid the risk of breach is to process the information immediately, and then make sure the credit card numbers aren’t left lingering around anywhere.
Paying attention to PCI compliance is important, but making security the main goal is necessary. While PCI DSS can provide guidelines for avoiding threats, there is no guaranteed protection. But, keeping these four ideas in mind will help you get one step ahead of cyber criminals.