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PCI Compliance For Boston Businesses

Web developers along with their clients in the Boston area face an array of the same challenges that other entities across the globe face. As with any operational strategy, it’s imperative to prioritize these challenges and address them accordingly. As prioritization takes place, a large number of web developers see time and time again how vital PCI compliance is to business longevity.

If you operate a business in the Boston area, it’s crucial to ensure your operations are centered around PCI compliance — and here’s why.

Who Needs PCI Compliance?

PCI compliance is necessary for any company that processes credit or debit transactions. This is especially true among companies that provide e-commerce services to their clients. If you accept debit or credit card transactions, you have to keep the data safe and secure and out of the hands of hackers. This improves your company’s trust among customers and also helps you avoid potentially catastrophic business-related events.

What Is PCI Compliance?

When you achieve PCI compliance, this means you have identified the security level you uphold in relation to storing and processing credit and debit card transactions. You can achieve PCI compliance by leveraging advanced PCI tools and technology, but you’ll also have to complete a self assessment questionnaire (SAQ).

The SAQ level that you rank at determines the standards you must meet to achieve PCI compliance. If you achieve a certain level, you are required to have a third party scan your site for vulnerabilities. This third party is most commonly referred to as a qualified security assessor (QSA). Other standards you may have to meet depending on your SAQ level include providing strong encryption for all card transactions and using a dedicated server rather than a shared one. Those entities that have to meet the strictest and most expansive form of PCI standards tend to be those that have a level 5 SAQ. This is commonly seen among businesses that offer one-click ordering.

How Do Businesses Benefit From PCI Compliance?

Achieving and maintaining PCI compliance requires investing more of your IT and web development budget toward PCI compliance practices. But it also translates into safe protection of customers’ personal information, and this is key to upholding a trustworthy reputation with customers, and most importantly, it can extend business longevity as well as business profits thanks to greater customer loyalty.

What Is Massachusetts 201 CMR 17.00?

Important to note is that Massachusetts sets its own PCI compliance requirements. This means that as a Boston-based business, you should be familiar with Massachusetts 201 CMR 17.00, also generally referred to as “Standards for the Protection of Personal Information of Residents in the Commonwealth.” Massachusetts 201 CMR 17.00 was put into place to ensure businesses are protecting their clients’ personal information, particularly state residents. If your company doesn’t adhere to regulations set forth through Massachusetts 201 CMR 17.00, you run the risk of the standards being used post-factor if a data breach occurs, meaning you may face a lawsuit. Massachusetts 201 CMR 17.00 is usually reserved for entities that are PCI compliant levels 4 or 5.

PCI Recommendations for Boston Businesses

No matter your SAQ level, you can use the following tips to enhance your PCI compliance, protect your company’s reputation, and keep your customers’ personal information safe and secure.

  • Encrypt all data stored on laptops
  • Block access to non-public sites that attempt unsuccessful logins
  • Encrypt all forms of personal information collected; 1024 bit SSL certificate is highly recommended
  • Use firewall software in conjunction with operating system patches as well as anti-virus software
  • Create and deploy a comprehensive PCI compliance security program and train all employees accordingly

Final Thoughts

Need help deciding whether your company needs help with PCI compliance? Contact Boston Help Desk today.

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