PCI Compliance for a Small Business – 10 Helpful Tips

PCI Compliance for a Small Business – What you Need to know

PCI compliance for a small business can be incredibly expensive, both in time and money invested – but it doesn’t have to be, provided you have a strong understanding of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) requirements and how they affect your business. Unsure as to where to start for PCI compliance for a small business? Have you heard the negative press about the costs associated for small merchants and service providers? What you need is expert guidance and assistance in understanding the entire PCI DSS process from beginning to end, what it entails, and ultimately how to become PCI compliant quickly, comprehensively, and cost-effectively. And that’s exactly the roadmap pcipolicyportal.com is going to show you, so take note of the following steps and best practices for PCI compliance for a small business.

Our PCI Toolkits save Small Businesses Thousands of Dollars

Before you dive into our PCI compliance for small businesses list, please keep in mind that complying with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) is often an incredibly time-consuming process due to large documentation needs. Specifically, small businesses need to have in place policies and procedures, security awareness training, risk assessment materials, and other essential forms – documents that can literally take dozens of hours to develop from scratch.

And perhaps you have policies and other security documentation in place, but is it relevant, well-written, factual, and up-to-date with the most current PCI DSS standards? If not, then our award-winning PCI Compliance Toolkits contain all the essential PCI DSS policies, procedures, forms, checklists, training material, risk assessment documents, and so much more for helping ensure rapid and complete PCI compliance. Visit pcipolicyportal.com today to learn more about our industry leading toolkits.

PCI Compliance for a Small Business – 10 Things to Know

1. Understand what PCI Really is. The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) are a comprehensive set of prescriptive security mandates put forth and administered by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC). Compliance can be tricky and challenging due in large part to not truly understanding the intent and overall technical framework of the actual PCI DSS standards. What’s more important to note for small businesses is that compliance with the PCI DSS standards is mandatory if you store, process, and/or transmit cardholder data, or have the ability to impact the security of cardholder data. Sounds like a lot to take in, and it is, but thankfully you can learn quite a bit about PCI DSS compliance by visiting pcisecuritystandards.org, the official website of the PCI SSC. You can also call us directly at 424-274-1952 and obtain vital information about becoming PCI compliant.

Also, keep in mind that enforcement regarding PCI DSS compliance is steadily growing, with notable fines being handed out to merchants and service providers who continuously ignore the mandates for annual compliance. Today’s world of growing cybersecurity threats and challenges are resulting in massive data breaches throughout North America – and the world – therefore, payment processors, gateways, ISO’s, acquiring banks – and others – are getting serious about PCI enforcement. The game has changed, and you need to become PCI compliant, and we can help.

2. Are you a Merchant or a Service Provider? PCI defines a merchant as the following: any entity that accepts payment cards bearing the logos of any of the five members of PCI SSC (American Express, Discover, JCB, MasterCard or Visa) as payment for goods and/or services. Note that a merchant that accepts payment cards as payment for goods and/or services can also be a service provider, if the services sold result in storing, processing, or transmitting cardholder data on behalf of other merchants or service providers.

3. What’s your Level of Compliance? If you’re a merchant or service provider in the Level 2, 3, or 4 category, then you’ll most likely be able to self-assess against any number of the PCI DSS Self-Assessment Questionnaires (SAQ). While self-assessing is generally easier, less expensive, and less time-consuming than an official Level 1 onsite assessment, they still can take time and be operationally challenging. Don’t let the phrase “self-assess” fool you into thinking the process is quick and easy – for most it may be – but for some, it can be incredibly challenging. You need help if you’re an organization that’s not too sure where to start, how to start, what to look for etc. Hopefully, you fall into a Level 2, 3, or 4, and hopefully you can make it through the entire PCI DSS SAQ process without needing much help. If you do need assistance, we offer fixed-fee pricing to assist.

4. Self-Assessment or Onsite Assessment? If you fall into the Level 1 category as a merchant or service providers, then you can fully expect to perform an actual onsite assessment with a Payment Card Industry Qualified Security Assessor – a PCI-QSA. The assessment process can take some time, and you’ve got to put in place a number of information security and operational policies, procedures, and processes. Just remember to start the process with a PCI DSS scoping & readiness assessment for ensuring the project gets off on the right track – trust us on this. Scope creep and other challenges can quickly start to surface if no meaningful upfront assessment work has been done to plan and prepare for the assessment with a QSA. And much like the PCI SAQ mandates, an onsite assessment will require organizations to have PCI policies and procedures in place, along with many other formalized processes.

5. Understand the importance of Remediation.  Every business – and we mean every business – has something they can be doing to better their overall operations and information security posture, especially small businesses. One of the very initiatives any small business can take in helping meet the rigorous mandates for PCI DSS compliance is correcting deficiencies and security weaknesses found during an organization’s initial assessment. From poor passwords to incorrectly configured firewalls, missing information security policies and procedures – and more – there’s always work to be done, and we can help!

6. Documentation is Critical. Probably the most taxing and time-consuming aspect of becoming compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) is developing all the required information security policies and procedures. From Requirement 1 to Requirement 12, there are approximately fifty (50) different policy and procedure documents that need to be developed – all depending on which Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ) you have to comply with. Such a task can take dozens of hours – often much more – and it’s why small businesses seeking assistance with PCI DSS compliance turn to pcipolicyportal.com. As the world’s leading provider of PCI DSS policies and procedures, pcipolicyportal.com offers a wide-array of policies, procedures, forms, checklists, templates, and much more, for becoming PCI DSS compliant.

7. Technical Remediation is Common. Yes it is, from enhancing password complexity rules to re-configuring firewalls, changing default settings on system components – and more – remediation is a way of life for many small businesses seeking to become PCI DSS compliant. If you have competent I.T. professionals on staff, then great, conquering the necessary technical remediation items is achievable, but if you don’t, then it’s time to hire an outside consultant, such as pcipolicyportal.com. Many small businesses struggle with making necessary technical/security changes, but it has to be done for ensuring full compliance.

8. You CAN Get Help, Just Ask! We’re here to help, and it’s not as expensive as one might think. We offer hourly consulting services that can purchased immediately in blocks of three (3) hours. Call and speak with us today at 424-274-1952 to learn more about our consulting services.

9. It is an Annual Commitment.  There is no such thing as “one-and-done” with PCI DSS compliance, not at all. Once you been asked to become compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards, then officially say hello to the world of regulatory compliance and all that comes with it. For this reason alone, you’ll need to have in place well-written PCI policies and procedures, so get them today at pcipolicyportal.com.

10.Where to Begin? PCI compliance for small businesses begins by visiting pcipolicyportal.com and learning more about the actual Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) and how our industry leading documents help ensure rapid and complete compliance. You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on PCI policies and procedures, and you also don’t have to spend large sums of money on costly consultants. All the information you need to know about PCI DSS is contained within the detailed PCI DSS Self-Assessment Questionnaires (SAQ) available for instant download today at pcisecuritystandards.org.

Our PCI DSS Toolkits Ensure Rapid and Complete Compliance

PCI compliance for small businesses can be successfully met by downloading any number of our industry leading PCI DSS toolkits, from the PCI SAQ policy packets to the comprehensive Platinum, Premier, Standard, and Starter packages. Researched and authored by regulatory compliance professionals with years of payments and cybersecurity expertise, our documentation – used in conjunction with the materials offered for download at the official PCI DSS website (pcisecuritystandards.org) – is all that’s needed. Visit pcipolicyportal.com today to learn more about PCI compliance for small businesses and how we can help.

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