Why is PCI Vulnerability Scan Important?

Electronic payments are becoming popular today as many shoppers buy items from online stores. Read more about these payments on this site here. With the increase in credit card payments, companies must protect consumer data as there are significant breaches and identity thefts that are going rampant today. The numbers of agencies and businesses topped at 1,300 in 2017 alone, and it keeps increasing if many organizations don’t secure their networks and companies.

Headline-grabbing and high-profile breaches have forced the payment card industry to look for alternatives in securing their consumer data at all costs. Many businesses have collaborated to form the PCI DSS to set standards for systems to achieve this goal.

Compliance is A Must

Today, complying with the requirements of PCI DSS is not optional. It’s a must. One of the critical tasks that a PCI scanning is required to complete is a quarterly scan. The good guys will conduct a PCI vulnerability scan to ensure that any weak link in the system is patched up. Quarterly scans are ideal, and they can be performed by a third-party service provider or in-house IT tech guys.

After a thorough scan, a vulnerability report can be conducted to know areas that need improvement. Detailed action steps are listed, and they should be implemented as soon as possible. It’s vital that PCI scanning should never be confused with penetration testing.

Penetration tests are using live testers or white hat hackers to analyze the overall frame of the network. It identifies any coding errors and vulnerabilities that black hat hackers can exploit to get the credit card information on your network.

The PCI scans are automated, and they are excellent when you want to have an overview of your overall network system defense. They can be conducted annually, monthly, or weekly according to your preferences.

More about the PCI Compliance

PCI DSS designed a standard used to enhance security controls in protecting your customers’ credit card information. These are the rules that prevent misuse and theft in any organization, and everyone who processes PCI is required to comply with the standards.

If you fail to comply with the requirements, you may be faced with hefty fines and penalties. There’s also a chance that your payment processing system will be revoked, and a suspension of accounts from your merchant provider may happen.

Complying means that you’re showing a firm commitment to protecting your clients’ information, trust, and safety. The primary account numbers are not the only ones being protected, but the expiry date, names, and security codes also have stringent security.

It’s mandatory to comply with the DSS requirements regardless of your business’s size or the number of transactions that you’re processing in a year. Even if you have decided to get outsourcing services for your payment portals, you still need to develop up-to-date PCI reports and show documentation that scans are conducted from time to time. Safety of data entirely falls on your shoulders whether you have in-house or third-party transactions.

Who Needs to Complete the PCI Compliance?

Everyone in the business of processing card payments does need to comply with PCI. If this is you, then you do. Even if you say that you’re only handling a small number of payment transactions every year, it’s imperative to take the scans and security tests.

For many corporations processing larger transactions every year of over 6 million for every merchant, they must undergo an annual audit that a Qualified Security Assessor usually makes to know more about their status. Know more about the assessors here: https://www.pcmag.com/encyclopedia/term/qualified-security-assessor.

Businesses with fewer transactions must fill-up and complete a self-assessment questionnaire. They still need to submit the documents to their bank. Each payment card brand may require different requirements, so it’s essential to check first before submitting for less hassle.

What you need is to ensure that these five key areas are completed:

  • Maintain and Build a Highly-Secure Server or Network
  • Protect the Data of Cardholders
  • Maintain Management Programs for Possible Vulnerabilities
  • Regular Tests and Monitors of the Networks
  • Maintenance of Security Policies and Information

With these compliance standards, you’re putting your entire organization on a secure footing and decrease the chances of a data breach. You can avoid expensive chain reactions of risks, and you can maintain client trust as well.

About Harshit Jain

Harshit Jain is a tech-savvy blogger. He is currently pursuing post graduation from Mumbai University. He likes to share his knowledge through his own blog at TripoSoft & TechHug as well as by writing guest articles on other blogging sites. Follow him on Facebook, Google+, Twitter.

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