PCI Compliance Trends in 2020


With rising cyber threat cases, payment security is vulnerable to attacks from hackers and is becoming weaker day by day. Businesses need to upgrade their payment solutions to comply with the highest security measures. After all, customers rely on you for that extra layer of security and safety when it comes to making online payments!

However, the high amount of security threats that the payment processing industry is facing in recent years is concerning not just for your customers but also for your business. Nobody likes to compromise with the safety of their sensitive business data.

Sadly, many organizations fail to comply with the industry security standards, thus risking their own and their consumers’ privacy. Research shows that only 27.9% of organizations comply with PCI DSS Security Standards, which is alarming, making businesses prone to security threats. This further leads to a loss of customers and a decline in your overall revenue!

When this was not enough, the worst hit was the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. In this scenario, an increasing number of businesses are reportedly reducing their physical footprint or locking up their business completely due to the drastic fall in traffic at their retail stores.

As a result, many businesses have become more active in the online marketplace and started managing their eCommerce portal to cater to their digital customers. While they have been focusing on serving their clients online, organizations, unfortunately, are taking security concerns for granted. This might come with a hefty price if one doesn’t upgrade to the latest PCI compliance protocols.

Besides, budget constraints and fewer resources have made it hard for businesses to remain compliant with PCI DSS, giving rise to greater vulnerability to cyberattacks. This further led the customers to suffer as well since they are facing a higher percentage of unsafe paying environments now more than ever.

It’s high time that businesses start to address their compliance shortcomings to save their valuable customers and their reputation!

What is PCI Compliance?

The PCI DSS or Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard is a set of requirements formed in 2004 by the major card brands like Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover Financial Services, and JCB International. The PCI DSS guidelines are set up to ensure that all organizations that deal with credit card information, such as processing, storing, or transmitting, maintain a safe and secure environment.

The administrators and managers of PCI DSS launched the guidelines to improve the account security of a business or person throughout the entire transaction process. The 12 requirements of PCI DSS Compliance include –

  1. Use and maintain firewalls
  2. Protect cardholder data
  3. Use proper password protections
  4. Use and maintain anti-virus
  5. Encrypt transmitted data
  6. Update firewalls and anti-virus software regularly
  7. Use unique IDs for access
  8. Create and maintain your access logs
  9. Restrict data access
  10. Restrict physical access
  11. Scan and test for any vulnerabilities regularly
  12. Document policies

Benefits of PCI DSS Compliance

Living in a competitive market, businesses must start working on the maximum user experience to stand out. Here are the top reasons why you should be PCI compliant.

  • It builds trust with your consumers, preserves their privacy, and protects your reputation.
  • It prevents data breaches, especially if you store or process sensitive customer data like payment details.
  • It puts your safety above all and provides multiple layers of security and protection through properly-configured firewalls.
  • It enables you to meet global standards by meeting the required security levels while processing, storing, and transferring cardholder information.
  • It offers a baseline for other security guidelines and regulations. Examples include taking necessary measures to restrict the amount of data one deals with, complying well with ISO, GDPR, and other data security regulations mandated internationally.
  • It helps to avoid fines or other penalties for not achieving PCI DSS compliance.
  • It provides peace of mind as you can finally stay in a safe and secure digital environment.

The PCI Compliance Trends of 2020

To have the best security policies and ensure maximum safety for you and your business, you must be aware of the following PCI compliance trends.

  • Running a Vulnerability Scan

Experts suggest that you perform a website audit and vulnerability scan of your payment solutions quarterly to ensure PCI DSS compliance. Moreover, you must perform the scan with the help of an Approved Scanning Vendor (ASV).

Vulnerability scans provide you with vital insights on how well your organization’s payment processes are being carried out and determine your company’s overall health and security. These scans ensure that you comply with the PCI security standards, which further allows you to safeguard your company’s reputation.

  • Higher Number of Sophisticated Attacks

Today’s hackers are coming up with more sophisticated attacks, knowing that today’s customers have become smarter. They are exploring different techniques to pull the necessary information from you by analyzing even the slightest flaws in your network and security. It is not always possible for businesses to track these imposters’ malicious attempts, which is why PCI compliance is essential.

  • Growing Need for New Authentication Methods

Modern-day consumers are continually looking for new authentication methods to ensure complete security over their sensitive debit or credit card details. They expect retail shops and eCommerce stores to offer some additional steps to safeguard their private data.

The more the number of authentication steps, such as security questions, OTP verification, security code, etc., the higher the security. These additional steps surely prevent credit card fraud and maintain a secured shopping and paying environment.

  • Increase of Outsourcing Compliance

A large number of companies are interested in outsourcing compliance and cybersecurity professionals as they are looking for ways to cut down costs by working with third-party vendors for an ongoing period.

This, however, doesn’t always mean manpower shortening of internal cybersecurity teams. It simply means that organizations are optimizing their costs by handing over some of their tasks to compliance outsourcing services.

  • Keeping Updated With New Technologies

After the COVID-19 crisis, we all have learned how to adopt the latest technologies to get our day-to-day jobs done, be it working from home, attending meetings and conferences, or staying connected with friends and family members.

Besides, the latest PCI DSS 4.0 version offers a revised framework that includes provisions for a large-scale cloud environment in an attempt to accommodate a radically changing technological world.

The Bottomline

You must keep in mind that even when situations become normal, hackers’ activities can’t be prevented. They will continue coming up with new methods of stealing your sensitive data, making you pay a massive price for it. Staying PCI complainant or any other security protocols in the future would enable you and your customers to stay safe and secured.