PCI Compliance for Small Businesses

Nerd Insider By Nerd Insider, 13th Dec 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Business>IT & Ecommerce

Are the PCI DSS standards a hindrance to small businesses? It doesn't have to be.

The Power of Data

There never seems to be enough time as an owner of a small business. You have to have an overview of your entire business, ensuring everything runs like clockwork. One particular area which all owners of small businesses should pay attention to is business data.

Data is a powerful thing. It can give a business a competitive advantage if used correctly. It can also benefit your customers too.

Online Shopping

Take online retail for example. This phenomenon continues to see growth in various markets around the world. In October, British consumers spent £6.7 billion online. Certain days and periods are also particularly profitable. A recent Cyber Monday set a new spending record of $4.6 billion in US, marking the heaviest shopping day in history. Similarly, the holiday season saw a spending surpass $21 billion, a 14% increase from last year.

There’s no doubt about it, people love to shop online and if you’re neglecting this market you’re missing out.

Difficulties Complying with PCI DSS

Of course, setting up and managing an online shop brings up different challenges than running a physical shop. It could be argued cyber security is harder to enforce than physical security. Cyber threats continue to plague businesses, no more so for small businesses. Financial services data security should be a priority for any business.

It’s safe to say small businesses don’t have the resources that large corporations have. Experienced IT departments are able to bolster their security defences to handle threats from cyber criminals. But even they can struggle with complying with PCI DSS standards.

Advantages of Complying with PCI DSS

You may be asking what chance do you stand then as a small business owner. Complying with PCI DSS has many advantages however. By storing your customer’s card details it offers them convenience every time they purchase with you, building up trust and repeat custom. There’s also the obvious advantage that you can offer your product and services to a larger audience online.


Complying with PCI DSS may seem daunting, but by using the 12 requirements developed by the PCI Security Standards Council, you can ensure you are covering the necessary steps to keeping data secure.

Requirement 6, vulnerabilities are ranked based on risk, in particular can be difficult to enforce if you don’t have the correct software. But vulnerability management and patch management software can help find, rank and patch vulnerabilities. These network security software can help automate this process so you can focus on other areas of the business.

Failing to comply with PSI DSS standards could have drastic consequences - especially if a breach occurs. If you are found to be at fault, you could incur fines and lawsuits. Not only this, but negative press attention could be an unwanted outcome too.

If you aspire to owning a successful business, growing it online is a viable opportunity. But you must be prepared to deal with the cyber security threats it brings.

What difficulties have you found complying with PCI DSS?

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