While small businesses may only deal with a few hundred customers, they still need to make sure their payment methods are safe and secure for their customers. When businesses are not following PCI data security standards, customer information and their payment information could be subjected to hackers. Follow these standards for PCI compliance to protect your small business and its’ customers.

What is PCI Compliance?

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) are a set of standards for businesses that use and transmit customer credit card information over the internet need follow to ensure safe and secure transactions. There are 12 requirements of PCI DSS that are in place to ensure secure transactions online.

Requirements for PCI Compliance


Firewalls need to be used on your small business site because they are the first line of defense for stopping hackers. Firewalls set standards for the traffic flowing in and out of your website and stops any activity that may threaten the security of your site. Installing a firewall on your website is pretty easy and many of them are free. Make sure you pick a firewall that can filter and inspect data accurately. Click here to check out free firewalls that get the job done.


POS systems often come with generic passwords that. An be easily figured out by hackers. Make sure that you update passwords on all the devices you use for transactions and all software you use for authorization. Regularly change and update these passwords and keep a list of these up-to-date passwords somewhere safe. Be smart: write the dates of when these passwords were last updated, so you know when you need to update passwords and keep a physical list of them somewhere safe.

Protect Cardholder Data

Cardholder data needs to be encrypted with encryption keys to ensure secure payment for your customers. Regular maintenance is needed for encryption algorithms. Make sure that your encryption keys and security measures are not expired.

Encrypt Transmitted Data

Cardholder information is often sent to multiple channels during the payment process. This data needs to be encrypted everywhere is sent and you need to know exactly where the data is being sent to check that it is encrypted.

Anti-Virus Software

Anti-virus software is required for all devices that store primary account numbers. This software needs to be regularly updated. Anti-Virus software will be different depending on the device you are using. Here are to top 10 Anti-virus software for 2020

Update your Software

Software need to be updated to decreases the chances of security breaches as hackers become familiar with how security software is functioning. Many software have auto-update functions, but make sure you are checking to see that those updates get completed or manually updating them yourself.

Restrict Data Access

Make sure that only the employees and staff who need to know cardholder information have access to security passwords and payment software. The employees who absolutely need to know this information should should be notified and updated with password and security changes. Be sure to update passwords if you lose employees who may have had access to this information.

Identification for Access

Create unique logins for those who have access to cardholder information and security software.

Physical Access to Information

Physical cardholder information should be kept in a secure spot. This includes physical documents or hard drives that may include digital data. Keep these locations locked and only authorized employees should know about the location of this information and its security.

Access Logs

Activity that has anything to do with cardholder data needs to be logged. Record keeping and documentation of accessing records is important for knowing who is accessing information and the purpose for accessing that information. This is helps ensures that only authorized personnel are accessing cardholder data.


Because PCI DSS requires the installation of several software for security, you need to make sure you regularly update this software to minimize the potential for malfunction.

Document Policies

Make sure you are keeping track of all the software you are using on all of your devices that hold any cardholder data. Also keep an updated record of the people who have access to the passwords and security software you are using, as well as the purposes they have for having access to that information.

PCI Compliance is in place to serve and protect you and your customers. Secure payment measures increases trust between you and you customers and make you a reliable business. While complying with these standards may seem like a lot, it really comes down to making sure you have the necessary software tools and practices you need to make safe payments.

Learn more about PCI DSS at https://www.pcisecuritystandards.org/

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