PCI DSS consulting (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard)

The modern world now moved to use more effective and advanced methods to complete the financial transactions, and synchronized with the spread of e-commerce and digitally transforms business; the old ways payment(cash payment) do not work anymore, instead of that e-payment methods are widely used now, such as credit card, Debit card, and others.

Despite the several benefits and solutions that these methods provide, they become the major concern and unsafety for both people and organizations, because of increasing the Fraud Attempt to obtain card information. That leads to the necessity of developing standards and optimization methods that the companies that processing and use customer payment to comply with them.

In 2006, the top 5 brands of card industry (American Express, Discover Card, MasterCard, Visa, and international JCB) had formed the industry payment card standards council, to enhance awareness of payment security standards and ensure compliance from organizations with them.

In pursuit of achieving this goal, the council had formed payment Card Industry Data Security Standard PCI DSS and it is one of the important international standards, and the most famous, widely used, and comprehensive in this field.

What is  PCI DSS certification?

It’s a guide group of payment standards that define the minimum security requirements that must be meeting for any services supplier who wants to store, process, or move credit card data.

These standards are now called PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards).

PCI DSS certificate is proof from PCI DSS council, state that your company Is implementing the most important rules, procedures, processes, and practices as an essential part of its framework; to provide a safety environment to all systems that accept, deal, store, or send information that belonging to an electronic payment card.ش

How does PCI DSS work?

When the client entered his credit card information through a website or ATM’s, Like the ones at the cashier in the supermarket, for example, these information send to the bank’s card through the Internet to ensure the information had entered is correct, then the required amount is withdrawn from the customer account and depositing in the seller’s account.

And that’s where the role of PCI DSS comes in, to ensure these data send securely and encrypted through the Internet, and district lows are imposed on them; to avoid the process of the spying and theft, and unauthorized use of all contact points in the system, whether they are computer, mobile, servers and even the Internet line used and other applications in the network.

What are the benefits of PCI DSS certification?

There are several advantages from complaints to card industry security standards, and this explained the number appeared in  a recent study, that identicate to the increasing of overall compliance to PCI DSS among global companies, where it reached to 55.4%, There are some of these benefits:

  1. Enhance and improve security to reduce the risk of security breaches.
  2. Improve the relationship between you and your clients and enhance there confidentiality.
  3. Increase profits because of the client’s confidentiality.
  4. Avoid expensive regularity fine.
  5. Improving the company’s brand reputation and building trust with all parties (client, partners, and suppliers).
  6. PCI DSS is a well-known standard in the security and protection field and recognized by the state and the world, that’s means obtaining this certification will add a lot of value to your company and keep it in the competition.
  7. Provide specific guidelines and instructions about what have to do to protect data, that can implement any organization used methods to process and store payment card data.
  8. Help you to complaint to others regulations and strategy.

The scope of PCI DSS

PCI DSS can applied in the whole organization or into subsections if divided the process of moving or storing the card data operations correctly.

This standard applies to all people, processes, and technology that participated in processing, transporting, or storing credit cardholders’ information. And the standard requirements do not cover just the electronic systems,  it also involves paper records, such as receipts and postal forms, and phone records if it storing the card data.

What are PCI DSS levels?

There are four different levels to comply to PCI DSS they rely on the payment amount of the organization per year (12 months):

  • PCI DSS level 1:

For companies that process large numbers (more than 6 million annually) withdrawals from Visa or MasterCard.

  • PCI DSS level 2:

For companies that are processing (between 1- 6 million annually) withdrawals from Visa or a MasterCard.

  • PCI DSS level 3:

For companies that processing (between 20 thousand and 1million annually) withdrawals from Visa or MasterCard.

  • PCI DSS level 4:

For companies that process (fewer than 20 thousand per year)  withdrawals from Visa or MasterCard.

Requirements to obtain PCI DSS certification

It might seem a long and hard journey to reach full compliance to PCI DSS, but still necessary to avoid the consequences of failure in meeting their requirements. And below we mention the six objectives of PCI DSS, noting that you can expand each goal to cover the 12 known requirements of the standard.

  • Build a secure network.
  • Taking strong measures to monitor the control access.
  • Maintain vulnerability management software.
  • Protecting cardholder data.
  • Regular monitoring and testing of networks.
  • Maintain information security policy.

Who has to comply with PCI DSS certification?

The complaints to PCI DSS standard consider mandatory to all entities, regardless of the size, value, or a number of transactions,  storing, processing, or transporting bankcard data include, including financial institutions, traders, services suppliers, developers, and others.

Also, each person/ organization dealing with a bank card and following a major brand like American Express, Discover card, Visa or MasterCard, must comply to the standard.

For example, if your company had processed three credit card transactions per month, you have to comply to the PCI standard. Also if you are using third-party payment methods, you have to comply to PCI standards. And if you don’t storing credit card data but it passes through your server, you have to comply to PCI standards.

It is worth mentioning, hiring a PCI DSS compliant payment processing company, like PayPal, does not excuse the organization from compliance to PCI DSS requirements (Although it limits the scope of compliance).

What the consequences of not complying to PCI DSS standard?

Despite that, the compliance to a standard that stated in PCI DSS had no legal authority for the companies in local government, except that the card companies that controls these standards may put fines to the organizations that don’t comply to these standards.

 According to a Verizon report about payment security, it’s only 28% of organizations were fully compliant to PCI standards in 2020. And the report also shows a relationship between the companies had experienced data breach and their non-compliance to the requirements of PCI DSS standards.

It’s important to be compatible with PCI standards to enhance your security and to secure credit card transactions for your business and clients, without this level of security, you are more vulnerable to increased cyber attacks, huge organizational fines, lawsuits, and even possible closure of your business.

Data breach costs may reach to hundreds of thousands of receipts and trust, and destroy your brand reputation.

In addition to the danger of losing you a merchant account, that’s mean you will never be able to accept credit card payments, it also possible to make you unqualified to obtain a new commercial account for several years.

How can Renad AlMajed for information technology(RMG) company help you in the journey of compliance to PCI DSS?

We have more than 60 experts and consultants to provide the necessary advice to help you in improving your organization’s security software and achieving PCI DSS requirements.

And our consultants can support you in these fields:

  • Define the scope of the standard within the organization, and provide support in reading and implementing the requirements of the standard.
  • Make gap analysis and assessing the company current complaints situation to the requirements of PCI DSS.
  • Organizing awareness sessions and training programs for work teams and staff.
  • Building and documenting policies and procedures due to PCI DSS.
  • Risk Evaluating and processing.
  • Design necessary technical solutions.
  • Make an internal assessment.

Finally, we need to say that each business owner, e-store, or business that depends on bank card payment methods to collect money, must implement PCI standards; to ensure the whole protection of credit card data, and avoid consequences when a security breach occurs. And don’t forget that the secure financial transaction assurance services and complaining to strict international standards in the field of card data security, deem as Important and necessary steps for all entities that aim to achieve the financial Digital transformation.

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