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The Importance of PCI DSS Compliance

three_credit_cardsThe 2015 Nilson Report, which provides statistics on the payment card industry, found that credit, debit and prepaid card fraud contributed to global losses exceeding USD $16 billion. To help protect customers and to remain compliant, it’s critical that any organization that accepts payment cards understands the PCI DSS.

The PCI DSS is a set of requirements designed to ensure that all entities that process, store or transmit credit card information maintain a secure environment. In essence, the PCI DSS establishes a minimum set of requirements for protecting the account information of cardholders.

Failure to comply with the PCI DSS can result in serious consequences for merchants. If a merchant experiences a data breach and is found to be non-compliant with the PCI DSS, it may be subject to hefty fines.

Other potential fallouts from failed PCI DSS compliance include:

  • Legal action
  • Federal audits
  • Remediation costs
  • Bank fines

To avoid financial penalties and business interruptions, you should make compliance with the PCI DSS a priority. There are three major steps to compliance, as outlined by the PCI Security Standards Council (SSC)—assess your risk, remediate any issues and report your compliance to the PCI SSC. If followed closely, these steps can help merchants of any size integrate PCI DSS standards into their businesses.

However, PCI DSS compliance is not something that can be easily addressed on your own—especially if you are a merchant with limited resources. Prior to launching a PCI DSS compliance program, businesses should seek the help of the PCI SSC. The PCI SSC, along with banks, enforce the PCI DSS and are invaluable resources for organizations that are new to compliance.

© 2016 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.

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