There are not many people that know about PCI compliant hosting and those that do will tell you that they are surely annoyed a little by it. PCI compliance stands out as something that is really helpful and very annoying. All at the exact same time.
What Is PCI Compliant Hosting?
Just as we have special institutions that regulate vehicle safety, we have PCI SSC (Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council) standards that have to be respected in order to make sure that the credit card use is safe with online purchases. This includes everything from company equipment used to the online presence. To put it simple, PCI compliant hosting is basically hosting that respects the regulations set by the PCI SSC. The official website of the PCI compliant hosting is accessible for anyone HERE. All the information that is necessary to become compliant is accessible HERE.
Is PCI Federal?
There are some people that believe this but they are not correct. DOT regulations are federal but PCI is not. The different credit card firms basically started a PCI standardization coalition. The goal was to regulate online payment security so that credit card theft would be reduced. In the internet world PCI regulations are quite similar to EV SSL certification. Main industry players basically established the standards so that customers and businesses can be protected.
Why Is PCI Compliance Important?
The PCI Council appeared in 2006 as a worldwide forum that accepts new members. The main founding members were Visa, Discover, American Express and MasterCard. There are currently 3 requirements and standards that are overseen by the council:
- PIN Transaction Security Requirements
- Data Security Standard (also known as PCI DSS)
- Payment Application Data Security Standard (also known as PCI-PA-DSS)
The standards are not currently enforced but the credit card firms can force some companies to meet the PCI standards in order to minimize the possibility of online fraud. Every single person that wants to have a legitimate online business will want to avoid fraud. The main reasons why PCI compliance counts are listed below:
- Payment Card Partnership – when you become PCI compliant, you can take payments easily with all the major credit cards.
- Consumer trust is increased – when customers see that you are compliant, they will have a higher trust in the services offered. This automatically increases repeat business and one time sales.
- Protection against threats – the PCI standards protect you from situations that you do not want to be faced with. What you might not know is that when payment data ends up stolen, you can end up fined by the government, by the CC industry, face civil litigation and end up with credit account cancellations. All of these can be avoided by respecting industry standards.
- Increased protection in the future – the investment that you make in PCI compliance basically allows the stores and agencies to stay one step against criminals. You are doing your part in protecting everyone, including yourself.
- You are more prepared for other standards – when you go through the entire PCI compliance process, you will be much more prepared for other standards like SOX and HIPAA.
Do You Really Need To Be PCI Compliant?
While this is not a necessity, it is always better to be compliant. The good news is that there are ways around the forceful processing that is done and you should always be aware of all the options that are available for you. Most people think that they need to start implementing everything themselves but that is not the case. In fact, the only situation in which this is actually a necessity is that in which you run your own servers.
How To Avoid PCI Compliance Standardization Processes
When you choose hosting packages that are PCI compliant, you automatically gain access to that compliancy. As an example, when you opt for the Single Hop PCI compliant hosting, the site that you host there will automatically be PCI compliant. However, it is obvious that you when you get your very own compliance, your authority and credibility are automatically increased in front of partners and clients.
Besides the option that we mentioned above you can also:
- Use third party payment pages.
- Contact a security advisor. He/She can aid you to understand what has to be done really fast, what needs to be done in the future and how to proceed in the most effective way.
It is also possible to just fake the PCI accreditation. There are even some interesting tutorials that teach you how to do that based on different hosting providers that you might want to use. However, this is definitely not an option that can be recommended. If you do have the necessary budget to go through the process yourself and you believe that this is necessary, you can do it. It will take some time and there are over 200 regulations that would have to be respected but it is worth it for a really large company. The smaller sized or medium firms are much better off opting for PCI compliant hosting offered by a firm that already went through those regulations.
While there are various different things that have to be understood about PCI compliance, what is very important is that you need it in some situations. You simply cannot go around it. The very good news, as you already figured out, is that you can get around it. The use of the hosting provider that already has all that is needed in order to give you compliancy is definitely the one option that you have to seriously consider. However, you can also try to do everything yourself. This is only recommended in the event that you are a big company and you want to have all aspects of your business under your control.
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