How to Overcome Common Hurdles to Maintaining PCI Validation

January 7, 2016

Every time a cardholder makes a purchase from you, or a merchant takes a transaction through your network or using your services, they are putting their trust in your organization: Trust that you’ll deliver a quality product or service, but also trust that you’ll keep their important data safe.

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is designed to do just that — optimize the security of transactions and protect cardholders against the misuse of their data.

Verizon’s 2015 PCI Compliance Report reveals that while PCI DSS compliance is up, sustainability is low. Less than a third of companies were found to be still fully compliant less than a year after successful validation.

It is easy to fall out of compliance if your company lacks the policies and procedures - and the commitment to security operations. How can you overcome common hurdles to PCI DSS compliance maintenance? Here are a few tips:

Focus on Creating a Robust Framework

Companies should focus on building a robust framework that contains security, policies, testing mechanisms and procedures to ensure compliance. Having this framework in place also increases the protection of customers’ data and assists with compliance not just at the point of validation, but every day following it.

Centralize Resources and Assign Ownership for Security Activities

The PCI Security Standards Council recommends integrating security into the day-to-day operations of your organization. “Ongoing compliance also requires centralized coordination of numerous resources, actions, projects, and people,” the Council notes. At the helm of this centralization is the compliance manager, to help management direct their focus and leadership at the most effective use rather than the task of getting management to get on board and that data security doesn’t magically exist.

Don’t Forget to Focus on Security and Risk, Not Just Compliance

Compliance doesn’t necessarily equate to better security, says the PCI Security Standards Council. Organizations should focus on building a culture of security while protecting their assets and IT infrastructure. Compliance will follow, the council says.

Maintaining your company’s PCI DSS validation doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By keeping these points in mind, you can ensure your PCI DSS validation and customers’ trust stays in good standing.

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