PCI Audit Support
There are several types of compliance that today’s businesses must maintain. If you are not sure if your business is compliant, it is vital to know which Los Angeles It Support Company can support you through a PCI audit. If you turn to the wrong company and rely on poor advice, it could easily turn into a problem for your company. Instead, turn to an experienced local IT firm and get advice that you and your business can count on. While we are not an audit firm, our advice and support can make the process a lot easier to understand and work through. Turn to Be Structured Technology Group and let us help make sure you meet and maintain all PCI compliance standards.
Defining PCI Compliance
PCI, or Payment Card Industry, compliance is a way of securing all of the transactional information your business has to hold on to. When a customer orders something, you need to keep track of a lot of data, as well as ensuring the entire transaction is secure. You must hold their credit card information, a copy of the receipt, and personal data on the customer that was collected during the transaction. Then, you need to make sure to keep all of that data somewhere that a cybercriminal would not have access to it. This is often transmitted to and stored in what is known as a CDE, or Cardholder Data Environment. Do you know how secure the data for your company is? If not, then you need to go through and have a PCI audit done to find out if you have any vulnerabilities that a cybercriminal could exploit.
Why Do You Need PCI Audit Support?
The most important reason to turn to a Los Angeles PCI audit support company is to make sure that you are fully in compliance with all of the rules. It is generally only required that firms that accept credit cards are compliant, it can depend on more than just that. Compliance may also depend on how your data is processed and where you store the data once it has been compiled. There are so many layers of compliance to keep up with. If you are perfect with nearly all but overlook one, it will still lead to problems. You need to be able to depend on the information you get from the Los Angeles MSSP you choose. Your business relies on that compliance to be able to stay safe and keep the information from your customers that way, too.
Understanding PCI Compliance Audits
When you have any type of data, then security needs to be your top priority. It is essential to anyone with any type of online presence. If you do not have protected computer and mobile security processes, your customers could be at risk of facing some type of malicious attack. You may believe that only the browsing history or the online habits of your customers are at risk. If you accept credit cards on your site, that is not the case. If you were to face an attack, every bit of information you have on each of your customers could be lost. On top of that, it could also take a very long time for your customers to recover from a theft like that.
Basics of PCI Compliance
Financial data is incredibly sensitive. It requires the Payment Card Industry, or PCI, Security Standard Council to regularly go through and update compliance requirements that keep that data safe. These regulations date back to 2004, and to this day, they dictate what information must be kept, and how it must be kept, for any merchant that uses credit cards as allowable transactions.
Many different requirements go into PCI compliance, and an audit will tell you whether or not you are compliant or not. Here are some of the standards to expect if you want to be fully compliant.
- You Need a Secure Network: Your company must use a firewall that is not simply set to default parameters. Instead, it must be built specifically for your company and maintained regularly.
- Protect the Data of All Cardholders: You need to make sure that you store all cardholder data somewhere secure and all data must be sent utilizing an encrypted transmission.
- Keep a Program That Monitors Vulnerability: This means you have to have an active anti-virus software. Plus, it also means you need to have secure applications and systems in place.
- Ensure Access Control is Limited: Your company must prevent cardholder data from getting into unqualified hands by restricting access. Each person with access to the data needs a unique ID and only a limited number of people can have physical access to the servers that hold the data.
- Perform Regular Maintenance and Tests: You will need to go through and check your entire system regularly to check for vulnerabilities and test your networks to ensure everything is safe and functioning as it should.
- Keep a Current Security Policy Over Your Information: You must have an information safety and security policy that dictates how the information is kept and what it is used for.
Beyond those requirements, you also have the individual safety and security controls that each e-commerce organization must maintain. There are more than 200 of them, and they have to be implemented and checked regularly. After that, your business and IT staff must have implemented fully developed, security policies as to how every piece of information is stored and times where it must be accessed. There are different levels of compliance, based on the number of transactions your company has per year and whether or not you have ever experienced any type of security breach in the past.
PCI Compliance Levels
There are four different levels of compliance. For businesses that do fewer transactions or use merchant services for payments, there may not be any compliance other than self-assessments. This puts your business at a level 4. For any business that is a level 2 or 3, you will have to submit a self-assessment annually. You will also need to have quarterly verification scans done by an independent vendor that is qualified to perform these scans. If you are a level 1 organization, you must have a security audit done on-site along with the verification scans, since your business does more than six million separate credit card transactions annually. Your company will need to have either a QSA (Quality Security Assessor) look over your company’s data, or have a PCI audit performed here in Los Angeles, you can have an officer of your company sign off on the audit. Of course, your business may also be the exception to the rule. It may be that you do only a small number of transactions, but your software is unique. In this case, you may be a level 4 in terms of transactions, but also may be required to go through all the hoops as if you were a level 1. Here at Be Structured, we can help you determine which level best represents your business.
Failing a PCI Audit
Should you have a PCI audit performed at your Los Angeles-based business and you are found noncompliant, it could mean the suspension of your company’s ability to accept any type of credit card during transactions until compliance is reached. Since there are so many businesses that could not survive without credit card income, that could be a deadly blow to your company. If you want to avoid that type of suspension, make sure to reach out to us here at Be Structured. We can help with both a compliance audit and with the recovery efforts should you be found noncompliant.
Los Angeles PCI Audit Support Specialists
Our job is to help support you during a PCI audit. The auditor will look at many different aspects of your business to ensure you are fully compliant everywhere. This provides you with a guide that shows you where you or your company may be at risk, along with suggestions on how to make sure the security measures you have in place even better. From there, we go in and fix whatever your auditor tells us the problem may be.
Here are some of the places you can expect an auditor to go through with you to ensure full compliance:
- Over 200 security controls get a full inspection.
- Double-check every bit of technical information you have from service providers and merchants is accurate.
- Verifying that you have both privacy and security policies in place, along with proper training programs to ensure all employees are compliant.
- Verify all security standards are in place.
- Perform a scan of your server to look for vulnerabilities.
- Recommend solutions to fix anything that is not deemed as compliant.
- Help you put security measures in place to make sure your customer’s data is totally secure.
If you do not have this scan done early, it could end up being a very costly process down the line. It could lead to problems where your company loses money, time, and customers as a result of the delays. Do not wait another day to get your company compliant. While big-box stores may be used to compliance requests or demands, they are not the only business to need these measures in place. Whether your business is large or small, you need to make sure any information you keep is safe.
Get IT Support Prior to Your PCI Audit
If you have already suffered some type of data breach, you will undoubtedly be audited and flagged for future audits. Why wait until it’s too late? You need to have someone examine your entire system to look for wherever vulnerabilities exist. Hackers got in somehow, and you need to know where in order to recover. Then, once the vulnerabilities are identified, you also need to have someone capable of going in and fixing the problems.
It is not enough to get a list of problem areas. You need a Los Angeles cybersecurity firm that can make those changes and help protect your customers from further harm. That is what you have with Be Structured. We understand how stressful a PCI audit can be. That is why we take on the role of being part of your PCI Audit support team as well. We will help explain what is going on to you in as simple terms as you need us to, then we will provide the solutions to make the scenario easier to overcome.
The PCI Audit Assessor
Any type of PCI audit requires someone that is approved directly by the PCI Security Standards Council to perform the audit. However, knowing what that person will be doing can make the process just a little easier on you. These are the basic steps that your assessor will take.
1. First, they will look over your security infrastructure to determine if you had the safest foundation for your data as possible. This will include your policies, procedures, systems, and network.
2. Next, they will train your staff on how to be as secure as possible when using, storing, or accessing data. This will provide your staff members with a lot of skills and knowledge that will allow them to be compliant with all of the PCI regulations and standards.
3. Then, your assessor will sit down and talk with you about the areas that are not currently compliant. They will break down the different priorities of your situation, so you know what issues to address first. If you can correct some of these issues, the scope of your audit could decrease as a result.
4. From there, you must begin addressing the issues that are highest on that priority list. You can choose to have your assessor manage the rest of the process and put those corrections in place, or you can do it with a company of your choosing and your assessor will simply consult.
5. Finally, you must keep up the standards you set during the compliance corrections. This is an ongoing process that you will need to keep up with. As the business owner, it is your job to make sure your company gets compliant and stays that way. So long as you are making sure all data is totally secure, compliance is relatively easy to maintain.
PCI Audit Tools
Several tools can help you determine if your data is vulnerable or not. Here are some of the tools you can expect to be used during the assessment and during the regular testing to ensure compliance is being kept in place:
- PCI Scans
- Wi-Fi Device Scans
- Consulting on Executive Compliance
- Pen Testing
- Monitoring the Event Logs
- Managing Who Access the Event Logs
Turn to Be Structured to Be Your Los Angeles MSSP
You never want to take on something as vital as PCI compliance on your own. You need to have local PCI Audit Support by your side, every step of the way. Even better, Be Structured can help you have the peace of mind that comes with knowing you are fully compliant to start. Get all of your network, server, and compliance issues secured before an audit would even need to be started. Contact us today so we can show you how we can help relieve the stresses of your next PCI Audit before your business is subjected to one!