PCI Standards & How to Become PCI Compliant

February 12, 2016

PCI compliance is an important thing when it comes to businesses and wanting to charge credit cards and offering different services. A lot of businesses think that they don’t have to worry about it, or possibly that they’re to small for it to affect them. Think again, running a business according to the PCI Standards is important no matter what kind of business you are!


What is PCI DDS and what are the PCI Standards?

PCI DDS Compliant - PCI StandardsPCI DDS, or Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard was created by major credit card companies to assist in preventing fraud. PCI compliance has been around for a very long time, and it seems to work very well! Typically only 4 percent of organizations that have gone through a security breach were PCI compliant at the time of the breach. The PCI Standards are simple, it’s a pre-defined checklist of things that a server / network must be able to check off in order to call themselves “PCI Compliant”. There are a few different services out there (Comodo for example) that offer a limited number of PCI scans for free if you’re capable of fixing the issues yoursef. Beyond that, you can hire a vendor that offers PCI compliance services in order to assist you in getting compliant. Firstdata has a great video about learning exactly what PCI DSS is, which you can check out here.


What happens if I don’t become PCI compliant?

Do you really need this? It really depends on how much you care about the security of your users (hint: a lot!). Not having your server / network PCI compliant could lead to a multitude of things.

  • Fees from your hosting / network provider for NOT being compliant.
  • It could leave your server / network susceptible to a data breach.
  • If you were to have a security breach and it turns up that you were NOT complaint, you could lose your merchant account.


How do I become PCI compliant, and how much does it cost!?

Great question! 😉 You can become PCI compliant by simply using a free scan and performing the suggested actions yourself, or by hiring a vendor that provides PCI compliance services. The cost of these services greatly depend on the vendor, but if you do enough searching you will be able to find an affordable one.