PCI Compliance Certification Basics and Best Practices for Small Businesses 

Need to become PCI DSS compliant? Have questions about PCI certification for Small Businesses? Get the answers you need regarding PCI compliance certification basics and best practices for merchants, service providers and other small businesses from Materdei Consulting, LLC. If you store, process, and or transmit cardholder data, then becoming compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) is a strict mandate. Knowing where to begin in terms of PCI DSS compliance allows you to cross the finish line largely unscathed, so take note of the following PCI compliance certification basics and best practices for merchants, service providers and other small businesses:

Our PCI Toolkits save Small Businesses Thousands of Dollars on Compliance

Before we dive into the PCI certification list of best practices for small businesses, it’s important to note that documentation is a big part of PCI DSS compliance. Specifically, we’re talking about policies, procedures, security awareness training, risk assessments, and more. Developing this material can take literally hundreds of hours, and it’s why small businesses turn to pcipolicyportal.com as our PCI toolkits contain all the essential templates and forms for helping achieve PCI compliance in a rapid manner. Do you really have time to be writing policies and procedures from scratch? Do you really have the time and money for sourcing security awareness training materials and risk assessment documentation? I think we know the answer, so turn to the global PCI DSS experts today that offer PCI toolkits along with SAQ Policy Packets for instant download.

5 Essential Things Small Businesses Need to Know for Becoming PCI Compliant

1. Understand what PCI Compliance Actually Means: PCI compliance is a healthy mixture of technical, operational and business controls. It’s about ensuring the safety and security of cardholder data. That’s obvious, and you more than likely already know this, but keep in mind that it’s really about putting in place best practices in terms of I.T. controls, operational controls, and having extensive documentation in place. This “can” take time,

2. Are you a Merchant or a Service Provider? Well, what’s the difference, your very first question might be, and a good one indeed. Merchants are businesses that deal directly with cardholder data – specifically – they have services and solutions that directly facilitate a payment transaction, thus think of gas stations, online retailers, grocery stores – any type of business selling something in credit card present or credit card not present environment (i.e., e-commerce). As for service providers, there’s wide discretion as to what one is, but essentially it’s an organization that still has the ability to impact the safety and security of cardholder data, but doesn’t necessarily involve itself directly with credit card transactions/payment services. Think data centers, managed services providers, and others.

3. What’s Your Merchant or Service Provider Level? Another good question, and here’s what you really need to know without getting into specific details: the vast majority of merchants and service providers throughout North America can effectively validate annual PCI DSS compliance via any number of the PCI DSS Self-Assessment Questionnaires (SAQ). Why? Because most businesses simply do not – and will never – meet the transaction threshold for credit cards to put them into the category of an official Level 1 onsite audit by a Payment Card Industry Qualified Security Assessor (PCI-QSA) – and that’s a good thing!

4. Know that Documentation is Critical: When we talk about documentation in the world of PCI DSS compliance, we’re talking about the large number of PCI policies and procedures that need to be developed, along with other supporting materials. From Requirement 1 to Requirement 12 of the actual PCI DSS standards, dozens of policies, procedures, and other essential documents need to be developed – there’s simply no way around it. Additionally, add to the list the requirements of security awareness training, performing a risk assessment, implementing an incident response plan – and more – and you can clearly see that the hours for developing such materials begins to quickly add up. Perhaps you have policies and procedures in place – that’s great – but are they current, relevant, and can they be mapped to the actual PCI DSS framework? Tough questions, but it’s also why small businesses turn to the PCI experts at Materdei Consulting, LLC when it comes to acquiring the very best PCI policies and procedures for enabling rapid compliance.

A well-written, factual and comprehensive set of information security policies and procedures goes a long way in not only greatly aiding with PCI DSS compliance, but also in helping meet other regulatory compliance reporting mandates. And probably more important than anything is the ability for policies and procedures to help guide employees in understanding their daily operational roles and responsibilities within an organization. Remember, knowledge is power, and well-developed information security policies – and other essential documentation – gives you that power. Visit pcipolicyportal.com to learn more about our industry leading PCI DSS policies, templates, and toolkits for merchants and service providers.

5. Risk Assessments are Essential: We just spoke about the importance of performing an annual risk assessment. Remember, it’s a mandate for PCI DSS compliance for many businesses, but it’s also a best practice that every small business should be performing. Think about it, how can you continue to grow and create revenue along with long-term viability if you have no real idea about the threats, issues, and constraints facing your business? Additionally, you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on high-priced risk assessment software, simply use our comprehensive and easy-to-follow risk assessment template that’s included within the PCI Policy Toolkits available for instant download today.

The world is more complex and challenging than ever before – that we can all agree on – thus the importance of assessing risks to one’s organization is absolutely critical. Financial risks, external risks, information security risks – there’s a healthy number of risk categories to pick and choose from – and we provide them all. Saving thousands of dollars and dozens of hours on PCI risk assessments for small businesses is easier than ever. And the same goes for everything else you need for PCI compliance – we have it all available in an easy-to-use toolkit!

The Global Leader for PCI DSS Policies & Toolkits – Learn More

Both merchants and service providers are fighting a fierce battle every day in the business world as competition is lurking around every corner. Margins are getting thinner and your competitors are getting more aggressive. Add to the fact that compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) is now a regulatory compliance mandate, it’s enough to drive businesses into the red. There has to be a better way for managing and facilitating regulatory compliance, particularly with the PCI DSS standards, and there is! It starts by visiting pcipolicyportal.com and downloading any number of our industry leading, award-winning PCI policy and compliance toolkits and PCI-SAQ policy packets.

Hey, time is money, we understand that, and it’s why Materdei Consulting, LL launched pcipolicyportal.com in 2009 – to provide the very best PCI policies and procedures found anywhere – and we’ve succeeded! We’ve sold thousands of PCI Policy Toolkits to businesses all around the globe, so visit pcipolicyportal.com today.
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