Merchants, e-commerce organizations and B2B sales companies are no stranger to the PCI Council or its Data Security Standard. These guidelines are updated frequently, as evidenced by the recent introduction of version 3.1 of PCI DSS, because the cyberthreat landscape constantly evolves. While many retailers might not enjoy maintaining tight cybersecurity protocols, PCI security standards compliance is now considered to be a fundamental aspect of conducting business in the modern era, especially for organizations that process payments.
Despite the ubiquitous reliance of the PCI Council’s guidelines, some organizations do not understand that compliance and cybersecurity are two completely different things. In fact, InformationWeek reported that adherence to PCI security standards gives some companies a false sense of security. After all, they might posit, if the PCI Council said that those standards will protect data, then they must work. This is the wrong assumption.
“Compliance and cybersecurity are two completely different things.”
The source explained that without this list of best practices, the world would be filled with much more fraud. However, PCI DSS exists as a set of bare minimums, not absolute maximums. This is exactly why many companies adhering to PCI DSS still experience data breaches and network intrusions. Businesses must go above and beyond PCI compliance, and instead of simply sticking to the guidelines, they need to implement tighter cybersecurity to avoid becoming the next data breach victim.
Learning from the past
Implementing an ongoing PCI risk assessment strategy is one great way to exceed PCI security standards compliance, U.S. Comptroller of the Currency Thomas Curry explained to TechTarget. Simply put, organizations should audit internal and external customers, clients and business systems if they also have access to payment systems or data.
In fact, the source pointed out that an HVAC vendor acted as the entry point in the Target intrusion, and that is just one example of the risks that other companies can cause. By focusing on who has authorization to view data and how much information they can access, businesses can actively prevent a data breach.