Five Tips for PCI DSS Compliance


Five Tips for PCI DSS Compliance

In this day and age, perhaps no other piece of data warrants the level of security that as financial transactions. It is crucial that businesses requiring storage, sharing, processing,or transmission of credit card information follow Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standards(DSS)to the letter. Non-compliance not only invites critical data breaches but also huge monetary penalties.
Here are five tips to ensure that your business is PCI DSS compliant:

Encrypt Cardholder data

Credit card information must always be encrypted. Particularly, when such information is inadvertently or intentionally transferred over a shared or public network, data encryption is a necessity. According to recent updates, only TLS version 1.2 or higher should be used for encryption to ensure security. Even the encrypted cardholder data should only be accessible to a restricted employee group. Additionally, the sharing of encrypted data over potentially risky platforms such as messaging apps should be blocked.These should be your first steps to make your business PCI DSS compliant.

Consider using dial-up terminals  

Older network technology is arguably more secure from digital threats.Using dial-up terminals instead of IP terminals could be an effective way to prevent security breaches and hence ensure DSS compliance. Dial-up terminals,being analogue in their function,eliminate the danger of a data breach altogether.They may be slower than IP terminals, but the lack of speed is compensated by the added security.

Segregate payment networks 

One essential step to ensure DSS compliance is to use a separate network to process payments. This kind of network segmentation can be achieved through firewalls or by even using different hardware for payment transactions. The network that your employees use for their daily jobs would thus be segregated from the network over which financial transactions are conducted. This will curb the hacking of credit card data and save you a lot of effort on enforcing compliance.

Conduct frequent penetration tests

Once you have segmented your payment portals, you must monitor their effectiveness regularly. Penetration tests allow you to do exactly that. They help you identify the loopholes in your organization’s security pipeline. Such tests are conducted from the perspective of an intruder as if the organization’s data is under imminent danger of being stolen. These tests should thus only be conducted by trustworthy experts in the field.

Choose the right payment providers

Your work is half done if your payment providers maintain high standards of security. So,if you choose a payment provider that satisfies PCI level 1 compliance standards, you are already a step ahead in ensuring DSS compliance. Level 1 standards are the most stringent to follow. Remember that you still need to be confident of the consistency of the payment provider’s adherence to DSS compliance. Take your time and make an informed choice.


As new threats pop up like the several heads of Hydra, securing all information related to financial transactions is fundamental to any service that requires acquisition,transmission,or processing of such data. Follow our tips to protect your data and make your organization PCI DSS compliant.