Cyber threats continue to evolve and reemerge in new forms. Working in cyber security can sometimes feel like you're on the fifth sequel of a superhero franchise. The enemy is back again, and this time tougher than ever.
If you handle cardholder data, one item should be on top of your defense plan. And that's mastering Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliance is critical. Here is a 12-part checklist to ensure you remain compliant.
1. Check That You Have a Secure Network Setup
A strong and secure network is critical for credit card safety. That means having a proper firewall configuration and secure router setup. Separate your network design to protect card data using more layers of security than you have with other company data.
2. Check Passwords
If you want good security, you need strong password policies. Don't use weak passwords, and avoid defaults. Add rules to ensure you update these passwords each month. And consider two-factor authentication.
3. Encrypt Cardholder Data
Use advanced encryption to ensure card data is as safe as possible. Always adopt data encryption when moving card information from one place to another.
4. Create a Vulnerability Management Protocol
To spot vulnerabilities and avoid cybersecurity breaches, you must have proper procedures. That includes patching your software. You should have market-leading antivirus technology too.
5. Restrict Access
You'll need to restrict who can access card data in your business. Grant on a needs basis only - don't give access unless necessary. Ensure teams don't share accounts or passwords.
6. Arrange Monthly Network Tests
You must test your entire network holding your PCI data, including PCI penetration testing. And run that at least once a month to ensure it remains secure. You'll want to run a combination of automated tests and manual checks.
7. Write Your Security Policy
You'll want a written security policy for your staff to read and sign. It should include information such as password policies and safe IT use. Ensure you have a specific section covering PCI data.
8. Check Physical Security
Don't forget about physical security checks too. You want to ensure your offices have secure, lockable doors and that you hold servers in highly secure data centers. Install cameras for added security and have stringent rules in place about remote work.
9. Review Application Security
Don't forget to check specific security setups on software applications interacting with PCI data. Make sure to include these in your monthly tests.
10. Create a Security Response Plan
If a breach happens, you want to be ready to take action. So you need a plan. It should outline your steps during a live security incident to handle and mitigate the problem.
11. Run a Staff Training Program
Good security lies with your staff, so keep everyone knowledgeable on best practices. Run a security training session for new recruiters and a refresher course for anyone handling PCI data.
12. Ensure Regional Compliance
PCT is an international standard and well-recognized. But if you are a global company, you may need to adhere to additional rules depending on the region you operate. Always check this when putting your security setup together.
Bookmark This PCI DSS Compliance Checklist
Don't put PCI compliance at the back of your to-do list. If hackers get hold of card data, it will leave you with long-term reputational damage and possibly some fines. So use this PCI DSS compliance checklist to your advantage.
Check out our latest business articles for more ways to bolster your IT.