How PCI Compliance Can Help Retailers Protect Against Data Breaches
PCI (payment card industry) compliance may not be a term you hear as often as a small business owner. However, it has noteworthy impact to the level of risk your business assumes in payment processing if you accept credit and debit cards from customers as a form of payment.
Despite media headlines that tend to focus on significant data breaches that impact major retailers and government entities — and the millions of customers whose data may be conceded when such a breach occurs — small businesses are particularly at risk for a payment security breach. In fact, experts estimate over 60 percent of security breaches target small to midsized businesses. Often, smaller businesses are targeted merely because they're perceived as easy targets by hackers who presume (often, correctly) that a small business won’t have the proper security standards in place that make it difficult for thieves to access sensitive payment data that they can use to commit further fraud.
Though your business isn't legally obliged to obey the security standards that determine PCI compliance, the cost of not following its mandates can be overwhelming. If your business is a victim of a breach and the subsequent investigation determines your payment security and point-of-sale processes aren't PCI compliant, you could face upward of thousands of dollars in costs associated with the aftermath of the breach, including responsibility for the re-issuance of customer payment cards, fees, fines and potential law suits.