What is PCI DSS? Here is a short introduction to PCI DSS or Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard – discover everything you need to know!

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard is established in 2004 and it is an invention of these following institutions: MasterCard, Visa, Discover, JCB, and American Express. The point of forming this security standard system was to provide and determine a set of policies and regulations that define how to process, secure, transmitted, and store credit and debit card data. The whole security standard system applies to all merchants who accept credit or credit cards for payment.

To sum it up, these are the core objectives of the PCI DSS:

  • Create and maintain a secure network
  • Manage a vulnerability management program
  • Protect the cardholder information
  • Implement a reliable and strong access control measures
  • Maintain an information security policy
  • Monitor and test networks

If you are a merchant, you have to complete a series of questions in order to determine which level you falls in. Usually, the merchants need to pass regular exposure scans. The system standards apply to both internet-based or online transactions and POS or Point of Sale transactions. The implementation of consents is a personal responsibility of each credit card Company.

Even though PCI DSS is beneficial and recommended by almost all experts in this industry, the system is not without critics. Apparently, the standards enable the credit card companies to issue penalties, fines, and fees against the non-compliant entities (sometimes in situations where no evidence or proofs that a certain fraud exists). Another disadvantage is that standards are a little but subjective, confusing, and inconsistent. In other words, they are complicated and too expensive to be taken into a consideration or to implement, especially for the small merchants and brick-to-mortar stores.

Protectors of the data security standards stand by the fact that by implanting this system you are doing a step into the right direction. Not only the PCI DSS forces the merchants to think about the credit card transactions but to take these transactions seriously. This system allows companies and merchants to protect themselves and to provide a suitable protection for their users as well. With PCI DSS the credit card information and the privacy are protected.

So, are you ready to implement PCI DSS?