Web Hosting: What you need to know about PCI Compliant

To have a high measure of confidence and security in doing business online, the major online payment service providers came up with a standard test to determine each site’s readiness for a secure online transaction by introducing the PCI compliant. The PCI stands for Payment Card Industry, and it is meant to make everyone accepting payment online to meet a common standard of security practice to guarantee public confidence in transacting business online.

Who are the PCI members?

The PCI initiative involves Visa Card, Master Card, American Express and other Credit Card industry players. The implication is that any online business that wants to process their payment transaction through any of the member company will have to be PCI DSS compliant otherwise they won’t be allowed to use their service because it put everyone at risk of cyber criminals’ activities.

Why PCI compliant Web Hosting?

The hosting services are the gateway to the internet that brings everyone together. If the security issue is addressed at the source will mean wholesome security provision to keep everyone safe. As it were, a hosting service will provide its services to some website owners who will provide their services to everyone else. Once a hosting service is PCI Compliant, it means all sites riding on their hosting train will automatically be compliant.

What does it takes to be PCI compliant?

The PCI compliant standard goes with DSS complaint as well called PCI DSS security and it a twelve standards security process a web hosting service is expected to meet; they include the following:

  1. Secure network. This involves two steps of building and maintaining secure network involving (1) installation of the firewall to protect cardholder data to shut out intruders and (2) undergo scheduled password changes every 90 days. Such password creation must include hard to detect characters like “! @&.” used in combination with alpha-numeric characters for a strong password crafting.
  1. Protect cardholder data. This involves two steps as well including (1) protect any stored data through encryption of data on POS software for secure communication with the main server to acquire information back and forth. (2) Secure data transfer by encryption during transaction processing. All POS transaction must meet these standards.
  1. Maintain vulnerability management program. There are two essential standards steps here as well including (1) use of antivirus software for all hardware and devices software used in the transaction and keep the antivirus program up to date. (2) Ensure software is up to date to maintain the system software secure as the updates are a necessary improvement to block perceived loopholes that may be explored by hackers to breach the system. The best practice is to have the auto update on so the system can update when booting.
  1. Put in place robust access control measure. This standard involves three steps including (1) restrict access to your POS only customers with legitimate business needs. By this, a safety password is required as well as prevent indiscriminate use of the POS. (2) make provision for unique customer ID to access the POS and prevent employees from access to such information. (3) all physical computers, including POS holding vital customer information, must be secured with restricted access so no one can access the information without authorization.
  1. Keep an eye on the network continuously. Two important standard steps are included under this PCI DSS compliant. It includes (1) monitor systems to ensure the steps have been observed in all the steps mentioned above to protect the system from being compromised. (2) Security test involving reexamining steps 1 through 10 above to reaffirm the security system put in place are according to prescribed PCI DSS regulation. You need to take each step one after the other to tests if they are in conformity with the expected way of operation.

  1. Maintain an information security policy. This includes just a step (1) maintain adequate information security policy to be the holy grail of keeping all your safety steps as prescribed by the system up to date and working. At information policy level, you want to make the security measures and processes as part of the company way of life and take the time to train your staff, customers, and people who will have access to your network informed about your security requirement for everyone to stay safe.

While following all the aforementioned is important, keeping up to date information about PCI regulations and other security control involving your industry are important to keep you on the first line of safety. One way of doing this is work with certified experts in the IT security and industry security to give you and your organization a deserving peace of mind.

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