If you’ve been a small business owner or manager for a long enough period of time, you should know keeping your business and customer data is of the utmost importance.
Part of keeping that data secured means being PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) compliant. Even though as a small business you should have much less card data to store and process in comparison to a large corporation, so long as you accept credit card payments of any kind you must be compliant.
You also likely have less resources and a smaller budget for being PSI compliant in contrast to a larger corporation as well. It’s for this reason that many small businesses struggle with properly implementing PCI requirements.
Here are four PCI compliance tips for your small business:
Tip #1 – Choose A Web Host That Is PCI Compliant
Do you sell products or services online and thus take payments from customers on your website?
If so, you will definitely need to make sure you have a web host that is fully PCI compliant. It’s up to you to research or contact your web host itself to find out if it is.
As a general rule, cheaper shared hosting plans are usually (but not always) not compliant with PCI DSS standards. However, you should be able to use a non-compliant web host so long as customers are directed to a payment site that is complaint, such as PayPal.
Tip #2 – Complete The PCI Self-Assessment Test
Yes, there really is a test you can take to determine if your business is PCI compliant or not. You will actually be required to take this test if your business is a Level 4 business, meaning you process less than one million transactions per year.
The test simply asks you a series of ‘yes or no’ questions regarding the data security of your business.
Tip #3 – Don’t Store Your Cardholder Data
One of the best ways to simplify security measures for payment card industry compliance is simply to not store any cardholder data for your customers, both in digital and written forms.
To do this, you can use a payment processor or a card reader that will not retain the information on your system. As a result, you won’t need to worry about encrypting your customer cardholder data to protect it.
Tip #4 – Teach Your Employees
You can’t be the only one who’s educated about PCI compliance and standards. Your employees and anyone else who works in your business need to be as well.
Talk to them how to protect credit card information and other customer information. You also need to inform them your company’s policy on data security and how not complying with PCI standards can have drastic consequences.
PCI Compliance Tips
Remember, your business must be PCI compliant so long as you accept credit data. For this reason along, taking all the steps to ensuring you are compliant will be worth all the trouble in the long run.