The modern world relies on digital technology in order to function, and it is no surprise that so many criminals have made the move from traditional crimes and antisocial behaviour into unlawful activities via the internet or simply on a digital scale. Much like in retail stores, where walls, CCTV systems and security personnel all stand ready to deal with any issues which might develop, you need to ensure that your eCommerce platform is a safe and secure platform for your customers and clients to engage with.

There are thousands of online criminals and fraudsters looking for opportunities to take advantage of businesses and individual customers, and you need to make certain that you are as protected as you possibly can be.

What Is PCI DSS, And Why Is It So Important?

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a set of policies and procedures which are widely accepted as a great means of optimising security procedures online. These procedures are designed to protect cardholders, including owners of credit, debit and cash card transactions, from the potential theft of their personal information, which can be the most valuable form of currency online.

PCI DSS was created in 2004, by the joint agreement of four of the main credit-card companies in the world, Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express.

What Are The Major Objectives Of PCI DSS Compliancy?

There are several main objectives which ensure that PCI compliancy is the most secure standard for online or card-based transactions.

A Safe And Secure Network

Firstly, the transaction requires a secure network within which the exchange can be conducted. Primarily, this involves firewalls which are extremely effective at keeping out any unwanted interference against the cardholders or vendors. In addition, authentication data including passwords, usernames or PINs will be required – this information must not have been supplied by the business as part of a default service. Customers need to be able to quickly and easily adapt this information to suit their preferences and changing circumstances.

Personal Information Needs To Be Protected

Secondly, any cardholder information which is stored with the business needs to be effectively protected. Those collections which include personal or sensitive data, including any of the many fields which customers and clients are often required to fill in, including dates of birth, mothers' maiden names, National Insurance numbers, phone numbers and any email or mailing addresses, need to be completely secured against hacking and feature protocols which are designed to severely limit the damage that can be done with any information that is stolen.

If any of this information is transmitted through public networks, it needs to be encrypted in order to prevent any third party from siphoning or stealing the information whilst in transit. This digital encryption is important in all forms of credit-card transaction, but particularly for eCommerce.

Protection Against Malicious Activities

Thirdly, all systems involved need to be protected against malicious hackers and antisocial activities by using anti-virus, spyware and malware software which is frequently updated against the latest security threats. All applications in use need to be completely free of any bugs or vulnerabilities which might threaten the security of the transaction. Any patches or updates need to be applied as soon as possible to ensure the highest levels of vulnerability management.

Restricted And Controlled Information And Operation

Fourthly, any access to the system information and associated operations should be extremely restricted, and accessible only by a select few individuals. Cardholders and customers should not have to provide information to businesses which can't effectively protect them. Every single person in a database needs to be assigned a unique and completely confidential identification number, and any information needs to be protected physically as well as digitally.

Monitor And Test The Systems

Fifthly, all networks must be constantly monitored, and tested on a regular basis to ensure that all security systems are working as required. It is absolutely essential that any anti-virus systems are kept up to date to ensure that they are adequate when it comes to defending against any aggressive external forces.

A Formal Information Security Policy

Finally, you need to ensure that you have a formal policy and procedures in place which are maintained at all times by all participating entries. Enforcement aspects, such as penalties and audits for non-compliance, will often be necessary as an effective protective measure.

Why Is PCI DSS Compliancy More Than Ever?

In the modern world, the threats facing digital and eCommerce businesses are more serious and more sophisticated than ever. These criminals understand that there is a lot of money in obtaining sensitive information, and are often ruthless in their attempts to uncover it. It is only rarely that any information leaks as a result of external forces are a result of opportunity; many are long-term, dedicated campaigns against a chosen business.

You need to ensure that your website can offer completely secure B2B & B2C eCommerce capabilities, and the only way to guarantee it is to work with an experience web design agency that is capable of providing the highest levels of PCI DSS Compliancy, which is the most secure form of modern digital protection available today.

For more information, please don't hesitate to get in touch with our professional team today on 0845 838 2700 or, alternatively, you can email any questions or concerns to sales@advansys.com directly and we'll get back to you as soon as we can!

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