The Merchant Processing Guru Tip# 27: Does becoming PCI compliant make you safe from hackers and breaches of your network and data?

The Merchant Processing Guru Tip# 27: Does becoming PCI compliant make you safe from hackers and breaches of your network and data?

PCI Compliance
The Short answer is NO, it does not! So why you ask is it a requirement and so critical to my business to become compliant? Very simple, these standards cannot make you impregnable but they are a minimum standard that has been determined by the PCI Security Council for each business to achieve in order to make accessing their customer data more difficult and unattractive to hackers to attempt a breach. It is a matter of economics to the hackers just like it is for you and everyone else in business, the more resources they have to put into breaking in to a system that will yield minimal results the less likely they are to attempt to break in. The biggest issue right now as I write this post is that most of the larger more attractive business such as the national chains have not only become compliant they are implementing their own standards that go beyond the requirements of PCI. The fact that it has become more and more difficult for hackers to penetrate these larger systems has turned their attentions to the smaller, less protected businesses that have not, until now, taken this as seriously as the larger companies have.  This means that your small business has become a larger target than ever before because as cyber crime increases and the bigger fish become more difficult to breach we will see more and more small businesses fall prey to the hackers that are after quick and easy payoffs.

Verizon’s 2012 data breach investigations report stated that there were 855 data breaches in 2011, 612 of those occurring in businesses with 100 employees or less. 79% of attacks were opportunistic while 96% of all attacks were not very difficult and did not require advanced skills or resources. Also, very interestingly, 96% of the victims were not compliant with PCI requirements.

Nothing about PCI is set in stone, the whole intention of PCI is that it is an evolving standard that will continually be updated to address the continual threat of data piracy. This also means that you cannot adhere to it once and think you are compliant for good, you must continually assess and reassess your policies, procedures and networks.

Russell Harverson has over 9 years experience in the credit card processing industry and has build a reputation for “being there” for all his merchants! The goal of The Merchant Processing Guru is to provide you with the right, cost effective processing solution for your individual business needs, no matter how large, small or different, he has done it all. He is your Guru of Merchant Processing, shedding light on the credit card processing industry. To contact him via email: [email protected]
Or call him at: 1-888-368-GURU (4878)

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