PCI DSS Checklist For E-commerce Sites in Nigeria

PCI Compliance Checklist is a checklist that ensures compliance. i.e, if your organization processes, stores, or transmits cardholder data, then the people, processes, and technology within your organization that interact or are exposed to payment card information are subject to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)

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Annual online payment fraud is projected to amount to $48 billion by 2023. If you are an e-commerce business that accepts credit cards, then you need to have adequate security measures to protect your customers’ personal information.

In light of the rise of cyber crime incidences, you cannot afford to skimp on data security. Fortunately, PCI DSS is here to help you guard your clients’ credit card data.

During The Early Years

A PCI compliance checklist was needed in the early years of eCommerce because there were no set standards for web site architecture design or configuration—let alone measures to protect sensitive data such as credit card numbers and data tracking.

With the increasing instances of unauthorized transactions reported by consumers, Visa launched its own requirements and standards platform to be followed by any retailer conducting business on the Internet and accepting Visa as a tender.

There were other credit card brands working on similar projects at the time, but Visa had the strongest requirements.

Eventually the brands came together and helped form the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) council to create a formal set of requirements and standards that covered all brands. The standards help to not only protect the card brands, but also retailers and consumers.

Why Your Business needs a PCI Compliance Checklist

A PCI Program is just one piece of a company’s overall Information Security program. There is a symbiotic relationship between the programs. Having one helps to strengthen the other.

The PCI compliance program helps to identify a basic set of standards that, when implemented correctly for the business, help to strengthen the company’s overall Information Security program.

Why It is so Important

PCI DSS is so important because it provides a set of baseline requirements and standards on how to protect consumer credit card data, which is referred to as cardholder data or CHD. The standards help guide companies on how to initially build an internal Information Security program, and design it to meet their own business needs.

The requirements and standards also help to identify where and how CHD is coming from, moving through, and ultimately being stored. Mapping how the data moves throughout a company’s network is one of the first steps to knowing how to protect it.

Who Should Comply

All e-commerce entities must follow the rules outlined by the PCI standards. Regardless of the size of your business or the number of transactions you conduct, you must comply as long as you handle credit card payments.

Risks of Being Non-Compliant

The risks range from monetary fines imposed by the card issuers to loss of consumer trust in the businesses who are found to be non-compliant. Trust is built over years and can be as valuable as any product sold. Beware of violating that trust by not protecting consumer card data as the effects of that can have a lasting impact on your business.

What You Need to Do to Protect Your Business

The latest update to the standard, PCI DSS v3, has six main requirements that are broken out into twelve sub-requirements that contain more than three hundred specific standards that have to be met.

These standards have one main goal in mind: protecting cardholder data. That is the golden nugget that every person with malicious intent is trying to get to. Once they have cardholder data, it can be used for their own profit at the expense of the consumer, partner, business, and the card issuers.

If You Were Writing a PCI Compliance Checklist, What Would You Include?

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The PCI DSS provides a general set of standards that can be implemented across any business model. Over the years the council has improved on the language, definitions, and applicability of the requirements and the changes have incrementally helped to improve PCI DSS compliance as a whole. Your PCI compliance checklist should include the following:

  • Use a firewall between the payment card data and the public network, and keep the firewall updated.
  • Don’t use vendor-supplied default passwords that come with network equipment or devices used in payment processing.
  • Do not store cardholder data. If you have a business need to keep cardholder data, make sure you use strong encryption. You can use extension to shift the storage of cardholder data off of your system.
  • Use encryption to protect all transmission of cardholder data over any public network.
  • Use antivirus software on all machines in the cardholder data environment and ensure that the software is regularly updated.
  • Check that your card processing systems have vendor-supplied security patches installed.
  • Limit access to cardholder data to as few people as possible.
  • Assign a unique ID number to each user so that everyone is accountable for his own actions.
  • Restrict physical access to the cardholder data environment.
  • Monitor all access to the network and cardholder data environment.
  • Regularly test your security systems and network environment.
  • Maintain a security policy and ensure that all personnel are aware of it

What happens if I am not PCI compliant?

If your business doesn’t meet the PCI standards for compliance and the security of cardholder data is compromised, you are liable – and could end up paying thousands of dollars in fines. Some of the additional liabilities and fines include: All fraud losses incurred from the use of compromised account numbers.

Who has to follow PCI compliance?

In general, PCI compliance is required by credit card companies to make online transactions secure and protect them against identity theft. Any merchant that wants to process, store or transmit credit card data is required to be PCI compliant, according to the PCI Compliance Security Standard Council.

Chinedu Okeke

Chinedu is the founder of Nigerian Tech. He is a tech enthusiast who has the passion for emerging trends in the tech industry. He is also a professional web content developer.

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