4 PCI Compliance Tips For Small Businesses

Written By Alla Levin
July 30, 2022
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4 PCI Compliance Tips For Small Businesses

PCI compliance is an essential feature for both small and large businesses alike. In today’s era of rampant and ever-evolving cybercrime, no organization can afford to overlook being PCI compliant.

PCI DSS or Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard is a collection of requirements that merchants need to fulfill to ensure the safety of their online or card transactions. Here are some tips for small businesses to ensure they are within the PCI compliance guidelines to protect their data efficiently. 

Vital Training

You or your employees may only have basic knowledge about cybersecurity protocols, so invest in a good training seminar or workshop to bring your employees up to speed. Data security can quickly become compromised in smaller businesses where resources such as computers, software packages, or passwords may need to be shared. 

Instruct your employees not to leave their laptops unsupervised and not to share passwords, pin codes, or other personal data with anyone, not even customers. You can even hire a social engineer to gauge the level of retention your staff exhibits about the rules and requirements of PCI DSS.

Regular meetings to discuss unforeseen data breach attempts or other unusual occurrences can improve staff’s early detection, awareness, and vigilance. 

Create Strict Protocols For Data Security PCI compliance tips for small businesses

Sometimes, smaller businesses can have difficulty being strict with all their regulations due to a smaller staff (with more part-timers) and problems with workforce motivation.

While you need to have your authorized personnel follow PCI guidelines closely (those staff members who have administrative access to the mainframe and so forth), you also need to instruct regular staff on the merits of data security protocols and cybersecurity know-how.

Set up a monitoring mechanism to detect where non-compliance regarding the PCI compliance checklist is taking place in your workforce. 

PCI Documentation And Keeping Track

Keeping track of your security controls is exceptionally vital in running your small business. While it may feel like you’re creating more paperwork for an already burdened staff, you can make things easier by having a PCI email user or even a directory account for PCI that is kept active and can provide notifications for all required security processes.

All the information relating to those security processes and checkups can be stored in the account above so that it is easy to access for evaluation purposes. PCI documentation should also include any changes to the existing security environment so their effects can be gauged according to a schedule. 

Security Patches And Updates

Security systems can never remain stagnant as cyber threats constantly evolve and mutate into new viruses and malware varieties that are particularly effective in data theft.

Security updates and patches are therefore vital to maintaining the integrity of your systems. Make a point of being subscribed to vendor updates for all devices (mobile or otherwise) and have a checklist to ensure they were carried out on time.

Vulnerability scanning and patching up a loophole in an existing security system can prevent major breaches. 

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