At the advent of technology, where online transactions are flourishing, there should be security measures to ensure that the private information of individuals is securely stored, processed, or transmitted during a purchase. For instance, there is a growing concern on payment fraud as scammers get more creative each time with their schemes to phish sensitive information. In response, companies should be more proactive in combating such fraudulent acts by ensuring that their websites meet the proper standard for card information storage and processing. Thus, it is vital that all Australian business stores, regardless of their size, that deal with credit and debit card payments, should comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).
What is PCI DSS Compliance?
Established in 2004, the PCI DSS Compliance is a set of guidelines aimed at safeguarding the consumer’s data and the businesses’ interests alike that are both involved in the two-way credit card transactions.
Data cardholder loss may happen either through compromised card readers, issues with online portals, problems with the database, wireless router, filing cabinet, or storage networks, and so on. The merchant’s goal is to become PCI DSS compliant to reduce such risks of sensitive data loss substantially, if not eradicating it. The governing standards aid in the secured online payments and handling of card numbers done via email or phone.
PCI DSS Compliance Requirements in Australia
Non-compliance can result in a breach of contract, which means that credit card providers can impose a penalty on you or the bank accordingly through monetary compensation or contract termination. So, it is crucial to check all 12 essential PCI DSS compliance requirements to attain six goals.
|Goals||PCI DSS Requirements|
|Building and Maintaining a Secure Network||1. Install and maintain a firewall configuration to protect cardholder data|
|2. Do not use vendor-supplied defaults for system passwords and other security parameters|
|Protecting Cardholder Data||3. Protect stored cardholder data|
|4. Encrypt transmission of cardholder data across open, public networks|
|Maintaining a Vulnerability Management program||5. Use and regularly update anti-virus software or programs|
|6. Develop and maintain secure systems and applications|
|Implementing Strong Access Control Measures||7. Restrict access to cardholder data by business need-to-know|
|8. Assign a unique ID to each person with computer access|
|9. Restrict physical access to cardholder data|
|Regularly Monitoring and Testing Networks||10. Track and monitor all access to network resources and cardholder data|
|11. Regularly test security systems and processes|
|Maintaining an Information Security Policy||12. Maintain a policy that addresses information security for employees and contractors|
PCI DSS Compliance in Australia
Meeting the standards is not one-off compliance but an evolving and on-going process overseen by the PCI Standards Council (PCI SSC) that sets up the necessary structures to protect customer data. Its council members include renowned credit card providers such as Mastercard, American Express, Visa, Discover Financial Services, and JCB International. This collaboration makes the council a global forum where industries assemble to develop and enhance innovative payment account security solutions.
Although it is not stipulated in the Australian law or other foreign countries, PCI SSC enforces strict and mandatory compliance for all Australian organisations engaged with storing, processing, and transmitting cardholder information through their contracts. However, since it is a global partnership across different giant companies, PCI SSC does not impose compliance in a single operation, but as separate administering bodies. They demand compliance through contracts from service providers and merchants. In line with this, banks and similar financial institutions now enforce compliance for small-scale Australian business entities at the grassroots level. This stricter measure led to the emergence of local consulting companies that provide PCI DSS-related counsel to help domestic business owners with the ever-growing requirements.
Cipherpoint’s Software Solutions and Tools for PCI DSS Compliance
One significant challenge posed by aiming to be a PCI DSS compliant is the unstructured data, mainly due to the drastic expansion of the business’ scope. For example, PCI DSS-governed organisations can recognize data from core payment processing applications. However, they cannot reconcile non-centralized data from various locations such as refund reports, call center recordings, email correspondence, spreadsheets, scanned account applications, and the likes containing card owners’ data.
Fortunately, Cipherpoint offers PCI DSS Compliance software solutions and tools such as the cp.Discover to help businesses sift through and identify unstructured cardholder data storage. The data is then removed from unsafe locations to be processed safely for PCI DSS compliance. Moreover, Cipherpoint also allows merchants to encrypt cardholder data, manage encryption keys, impose business need to know, prevent system administrators from unwanted cardholder information exposure, and inspect all data accesses per the existing PCI DSS compliance requirements.
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Founder Dinis Guarda
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