Who Does PCI DSS Apply To?

PCI DSS applies to all businesses that accept credit and debit card payments. You must meet all PCI DSS rules if you handle any bit of cardholder data. You may be capable of meeting fewer standards if you don’t process as much data, but there are rules for that point. Every business that handles credit card data will follow all PCI DSS rules in some form. Each company should also review the partners they work with to ensure whoever they hire can also work with all PCI DSS terms.

Anyone That Handles Cardholder Data Must Follow PCI Rules

PCI DSS rules will apply to parties that handle cardholder data. These include entities that may handle anything from card numbers and names to sensitive codes. Parties that track data from magnetic stripes, chips, other PIN blocks must also follow PCI DSS rules.

The terms these parties must follow include ensuring all data remains encrypted and protected, and also that only the appropriate parties will have access to the necessary card data. You can use these considerations for your business when looking at how you manage PCI DSS terms.

All CDEs Apply

PCI DSS applies to businesses that operate a CDE or Cardholder Data Environment. The CDE entails the people, tech items, and processes used for storing and managing cardholder data.

Every CDE operates differently, whether it is a team that processes card payments to one that stores cardholder data. Anyone who has control over cardholder data and how it works will be involved in a CDE in some form.

Your work in the CDE will entail many functions. You can link to a suitable processor, plus you can manage a unique storage solution. You will have some influence over many aspects of your card processing effort. You must meet all PCI DSS rules surrounding whatever segments you will manage in this case.

Permission Levels Can Vary

The permission levels that a business uses when managing data can vary for each party. A business that establishes unique permission levels is subject to various compliance rules. Your business could have limits on which parties can access certain fields of work. These include people who can use certain devices or access unique databases. Your business has to follow PCI DSS rules if you use various permission levels.

The permission levels you utilize can vary, but they can include many segments that fit all your employees. Look at how your workers can handle different functions and how you can handle unique solutions for your work.

Terminal Support

You’ll also have to follow PCI DSS rules if your business uses point of sale terminals that link to a payment processor through an IP address. All IP addresses require full monitoring to confirm whatever your business is managing.

Some businesses will only use hardware-based terminals. These must work with PCI-listed P2PE systems. The vendor who provides one of these P2PE setups must also comply with PCI rules.

Businesses that use virtual terminals that work on any device must also work with vendors who are PCI-compliant. These vendors must devise their virtual terminal programs based on PCI rules to ensure the security of all cardholder data.

What If You Don’t Handle As Much Content?

The odds are you might not handle as much cardholder data as other businesses. For example, you might only handle card-not-present transactions, or the processing efforts you manage will go towards service providers who will help you with the work.

You may also be in a case where your company doesn’t store or process cardholder data. You could also receive paper-only copies of the cardholder data in some situations.

You could meet reduced PCI compliance needs where you will only have to complete an abridged version of the annual self-assessment questionnaire. While the full version features more than 1,100 questions, you would only have to complete a few dozen questions to attain PCI compliance. You will still be interpreted as compliant at this point, but the effort for doing so will be minimal.

You will continue to manage many PCI-related rules, including developing a sensible security system while also offering physical protection for all data. You would also require a policy that ensures your staff members can meet all compliance standards for work. But the terms for managing your PCI compliance efforts should be managed well, and that you have a clear plan for whatever works when running your business.

You must ensure whoever else you work with also holds PCI compliance. All parties should complete their due diligence in managing their work as necessary. These include entities that may need to meet Level 1 compliance standards, as they might work with more parties and process more data than most entities. The level of protection necessary would be more significant at this juncture, especially when dealing with a more substantial challenge.

Everyone Has Some Responsibility

PCI DSS rules are critical for all businesses that will handle credit cards in some form. Even if your business doesn’t manage as much credit card data as others, you’ll still have to meet whatever PCI DSS rules apply to your business. Be certain when managing your business that you have a plan for what works and that you’ll have control over your work. Your PCI compliance efforts should be about ensuring you have more control over the content you manage and that you have a plan for what works here.

You must also look at how your providers work when managing PCI compliance. All your partners will need to meet PCI compliance standards just as well. You can check with payment providers and merchant service teams that meet Level 1 standards for work, as Level 1 is the highest possible level of work you can manage. Anyone who serves your business must handle all the critical rules for work that you can trust, ensuring your general protection and safety when you’re handling your content.

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