Modern businesses have a great responsibility to ensure the safety of their customers' information. PCI compliance pertains to the payment card industry's security requirement protocol guaranteeing that a service provider is secure. The scanning is done at specific intervals to continuously validate the authenticity of any business's card processing system.

Who Needs PCI Compliance?

Every business that accepts cards for payment processing is required to undergo periodic PCI compliance to ensure that they comply with the latest security protocols. Every day, people visit websites and make payments by entering their PIN, credit card numbers, expiration dates, and CVV numbers. The only things preventing that vital information from falling into the wrong hands are the regular security protocols that the system is subjected to.

PCI Levels

PCI compliance for businesses is categorized into four levels. The level your business is categorized in determined by the gross transaction volume per year. There is a misconception that businesses that don't process many transactions don't need to worry about compliance. While merchants that process fewer than 20,000 operations are not required to apply for compliance validation, they are still obligated to do PCI compliance scanning. If people's personal information are breached, they face both legal and financial consequences.

Consequences of Noncompliance

We live in a world where security issues have become serious, resulting in an unending battle day after day. This is why PCI compliance is essential. It ensures that your business is safe. Companies who don't comply stand at risk of being penalized with hefty fines and serious damage to their business.

Fines and Penalties

Noncompliance can lead to fines and penalties that range from simple warnings to fees of up to $500,000, particularly for banks and financial institutions. Banks are known to pass some or all of these fines on to merchants who are found guilty of the violation. If not, they increase the merchant's transaction fees to make back their losses.

Loss to Business

Apart from financial losses, noncompliance can also cause irreversible damage to your business. There is a huge risk of customers' sensitive information becoming vulnerable to hackers and malware, not to mention you risk irreparably losing the trust of those customers. Your business needs to be able to assure customers that the information they provide on your website is safe and secure and that they are not taking any risks for trying to patronize you.

How PCI Scanning Works

The primary objective of PCI compliance is to check your systems for vulnerability and cover up any loopholes that may lead to security breaches. Web browser applications, files, and data storage systems all play a pivotal role in making sure data is secure, yet these components are also almost always at risk. PCI scanning is an intuitive system that utilizes the latest technology to scrutinize your security protocol with the intent of eliminating viruses and malware that may have been introduced to your system to breach security.

Misconceptions to Note

It is a common misconception that PCI compliance is only a recommendation, but it’s more than that; it’s a requirement. PCI compliance is strictly enforced by the payment card industry security standards council. Passing ASV scan is not the same thing as passing PCI compliance and is not solely for eCommerce businesses alone. It is for everyone that processes and transmits cardholder information including POS and phone/email orders.

How Much Does It Cost to do PCI Compliance?

A company’s PCI compliance budget can be as high as 55 percent of its data security budget; however, the actual amount depends on the level that the business is categorized in. Businesses can pay as little as $80 for Level 4 and up to $70,000 or more for Level 1.

PCI compliance can help take your business to the next level. There are certified and approved scanning vendors out there who have the expertise to provide you with reports and solutions to any problems inherent in your infrastructure.


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