PCI Compliance Importance of Staying Compliant

The security of cardholder information is important to both your customers and your business. In fact, since 2005, there have more than 1 billion stolen records in over 2,000 separate data breach incidents – with payment card data being the theft target in 48 percent of all breaches in 2011 alone.1 And yet, only 4 percent of all breached organizations were PCI compliant at the time of their data breach.2,3

What Is PCI DSS?

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) was created by the major credit card companies as a guideline to help business owners implement the necessary hardware, software and other procedures to guard sensitive credit card and personal information.

The object of becoming compliant with PCI security standards is to help protect sensitive cardholder data from data thieves who are shifting their sights to small merchants because they think they are easier targets. If your business fails to become PCI compliant,3 you could be putting your business at greater risk from the growing threat of payment card data breaches and theft, which may result in substantial penalties (such as fines from banks, regulatory agencies, and card organizations), fraud and charge backs, as well as legal costs and lost customers.

What Happens If I Don’t Become PCI Compliant?

If your business fails to become PCI compliant,3 you could be putting your business at greater risk from the growing threat of payment card data breaches and theft, which may result in substantial penalties (such as fines from banks, regulatory agencies, and card organizations), fraud and charge backs, as well as legal costs and lost customers.

If you fail to become PCI DSS compliant or to report your PCI DSS-compliant status you may also be charged a monthly Non-Receipt of PCI Validation fee until such time as you become PCI DSS-compliant or report your PCI DSS-compliant status as compliant.

If your business experiences a data security breach, you could even lose your ability to process credit card payments. Perhaps more importantly, you risk the loss of customers. Research shows that 43% of customers who have been victims of fraud stop doing business with the merchant where the fraud occurred5

1Verizon 2010 Data Breach Investigations Report. March 2012
2Ibid.
3Ponemon Institute 2010 U.S. Cost of a Data Breach. March 2011
4Javelin Strategy and research. June 2009



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