One of the best measures taken by any business for its data and information security is to get PCI DSS certification. In short words, PCI DSS are a worldwide authorized and used set of standards and regulations for account data security of card holders pursuing online transactions. Administered by the payment card industry security standard council the compliance procedure of PCI is made to secure payment card holders at e-commerce points. Against data breach and fraudulent activities these certifications grant credit and debit card holders a secure transaction service.

Which type of organizations should get PCI DSS certification?

Types of organizations that are involved in processing, storing, disseminating, authorization and even validating sensitive forms of data are eligible and bound to have PCI DSS certifications. These certifications are for all types of online businesses involved in customer transactions of any size. Merchants, retailers, e-commerce stores, banks, e-wallet providers and every other business involving the card holders’ data processing are under the eligibility criteria of PCI DSS certification and compliance of these standards.

What PCI DSS includes in?

Payment card industry data security standard (PCI DSS) takes the requirements of security processing, management, policies, procedures, application and software architecture, and every other protective measure taken for the safety of cardholders’ data. The purpose of these standards is to make organizations involved in sensitive data processing to meet minimum security standards. For online businesses it is not only necessary for their internal data breach but also for customers to understand that the certified and compliant business is safe to deal with.

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4 simple steps to get PCI DSS certification

People often complain that a PCI DSS certificate is hard to get and the process is too complicated. Without a doubt, to meet such complex standards’ requirements and comply with the security requirements can be time consuming but the right guide can save you from long grind. By following these 4 simple steps you can ease the process of certification for your organization.

  • Learn and implement 12 PCI standards

Around six border lines 12 PCI standards are distributed and those all are required to follow and comply with to get certification. Overall these are 12 standards comprising 251 sub-categories. A short and low level summary of them is presented below.

  • Organization must construct and preserve a secure network
  • The protection of cardholders’ information
  • Uphold a risk/vulnerability combat program
  • Guarantee strong and secured access measures
  • Network observing and testing security systems
  • Formation of policy to abide by the information security

These standards must be met and obliged so that you are fully prepared in your internal systems to be secured and compliant with certifications.

  • Identify the compliance requirements for your business/industry

Every business is different so do the requirements. To identify the requirements businesses are given a four-level chart to tackle the certification process.

  • Level 1 says if your transactions are more than 6 million per year
  • Level 2 says if your transactions are between 1 million and 6 million
  • Level 3 says if your transactions are between 20000 and 1 million
  • Level 4 says if your transections meet the 20000 per year

All the above-mentioned levels are to get through the filling and assessment of a questionnaire and based on it they are granted the PCI DSS certifications.

  • Prepare your processes and practices to go through the certification process
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Audits and assessments, analysis and implementation of policies and schemes are those ways that make you prepared and ease your way towards certification. These checkpoints will self-ware any organization and tick mark their points towards the process of certification.

  • Hire a Payment card industry self-assessment questionnaire (PCI QSA) expert and get it completed will make your organization

For level 2,3, & 4 merchants until now they are ready to fill and submit Self-assessment questionnaires, this questionnaire is formed of some simple to complex set of questions with binary (yes OR no) options. If you are not ardent enough to handle the QSA process then hire a dedicated QSA expert.

For level 1 businesses after QSA, a report of compliance (ROC) is the final stone to be turned on your way of getting PCI DSS certifications.

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Shankar is a tech blogger who occasionally enjoys penning historical fiction. With over a thousand articles written on tech, business, finance, marketing, mobile, social media, cloud storage, software, and general topics, he has been creating material for the past eight years.

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