PCI DSS is also known as the “Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard”. It is a set of rules and regulations set in place to make sure that every business that processes, stores, or transmits electronic payment and credit card information does so using a secure manner. Annual validation is necessary for a business to maintain its PCI compliance. The purpose of the PCI DSS compliance regulations are to decrease the risk of exposing consumer credit card information to credit card fraud.
The Costs of PCI DSS Compliance
It is a requirement of the PCI DSS specification that businesses that accept credit card payments effectively utilize data security protocols to help prevent cardholder exposure to credit card fraud. The costs incurred by a business for PCI compliance may include (but are not limited to) costs for securing cardholder data storage, on-premise payment applications, establishing and implementing encryption technology, key management technology, PCI compliance audits, payment application upgrades, and payment application maintenance.
How to reduce the cost of PCI Compliance
Limit the Scope of the Card Data Environment
By isolating systems that house credit card data, you can limit the scope of the card data environment and reduce costs. In this way professional PCI Compliance Consultants can be very valuable in helping you limit your responsibility and cost.
Limit the Storage of Card Data
In fact best practice and PCI compliance recommends that merchants do not store card data at all. This removes from your systems the primary target of cyber threats as they relate to PCI Compliance standards.
Utilize Secure Payment Gateways
Providing a secure payment gateway is the first step in preventing credit card payment data from compromise. Keeping the transaction secure from beginning to end will help keep costs down and reduce your risk of crippling fines.
Consider Data Tokenization
Data Tokenization is used to maintain PCI compliance by replacing sensitive credit card data with a “coded” substitute. Using data tokenization can help to lower PCI compliance costs by reducing a business’ scope of compliance.
Utilize a Secure, PCI Compliant Hosting Provider
If your business accepts transactions online, it is incredibly important that your website be backed by a highly secure, PCI compliant hosting provider. This goes a long way to ensure that your business will be able to complete transactions in a secure and safe environment.
Reducing PCI Compliance Costs – Conclusion
The costs of PCI compliant hosting are a necessary expenditure for accepting credit card payments and conducting business online. Without appropriate PCI DSS Compliance in place, your business is left wide open to enormous fees that may be imposed in the event that your systems are compromised and cardholder data is exposed.
Most business research agrees strongly that the cost is justified, because the cost of leaking secure customer credit card data is far greater than the cost of PCI compliance. However, even though the cost of PCI compliance is necessary and justified does not mean the cost must be tremendous.
To help lower your PCI compliant hosting costs it is adviseable to speak with a professional in this area. For your benefit PCIHost.com offers a free consultation for anyone considering the need for PCI DSS compliant solutions of any kind.