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PCI Compliance: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt Your Business

PCI compliance is just one part of overall IT compliance. At Aeko Technologies, we’re dedicated to bringing enterprise-level IT services to small- and medium-size businesses to enable growth.

Do you know what it means to be PCI compliant? If you are a business that stores or processes payments by credit card, it’s time to find out—and to make sure your business is meeting compliance standards.

PCI stands for the Payment Card Industry’s Security Standards Council, which was created by Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover Financial Services and the Japan Credit Bureau to manage the ongoing security of ATMs, point of sale terminals, money cards and other industries related to security of payment options for businesses.

PCI compliance is technically voluntary, but is increasingly becoming an important standard to meet for B2B vendors and large contracts. Non-compliant companies can be fined if they have a data breach. Plus, the loss of consumer trust and reputation can be difficult to recover from if your business is found noncompliant. 

Monitoring of compliance is performed by the individual banks or organizations which use the PCI DSS standard. Companies are required to follow the council’s three-step process for PCI compliance:

  • Assess. Identify cardholder data. Take an inventory of IT assets and business processes for payment card processing and analyze them for vulnerabilities.
  • Remediate. Fix vulnerabilities and eliminate the storage of cardholder data unless absolutely necessary.
  • Report. Compile and submit required reports to the appropriate bank and card brands.

Most importantly, companies need to repeat these steps regularly to keep their compliances up to date. Most companies are lax in that area and don’t discover their vulnerability until they are breached. Compliance monitoring should be done at least every year.

Professional MSPs such as Aeko can handle this process, which involves identifying all data linked to the particular cardholder’s sensitive information and authenticating that data. Contact us to learn more or book an appointment for a free, no-pressure consultation.

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Brian Rodgers

Before Brian founded Aeko in 2016, he oversaw large teams as an IT executive within the oil and gas industry, leading the technology infrastructure that helped that company grow to an S&P 500 company. He is passionate about bringing those same strategies to small and midsize businesses, enabling them to scale their services and adapt more quickly to market changes.