Rules and Checklist that BigCommerce Websites Must Follow to be Recognized as PCI Compliance.

  • E-Commerce , Payments
  • 16.05.2022 02:10 pm

Well, if you’re wondering what PCI compliance is, let’s go over the term first before heading forward. The technical and operational standards that businesses follow to secure and protect credit card data provided by cardholders and sent through card processing activities are referred to as payment card industry compliance. 

The PCI DSS was established in 2004 by Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express to certify that online vendors have the controls and procedures to prevent privacy violations.

The PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) establishes a set of Data Security Standards (DSS) that apply to all merchants, regardless of their revenue or credit card trading volume.

If you've launched or attempted to open an online store on any eCommerce platform, you should know their PCI Compliance level before purchasing. This is also true for BigCommerce. Only by adhering to the PCI set of guidelines can you be certain that your clients' payment information will not be stolen during the transaction.

We'll go over the definition of BigCommerce PCI Compliance, its checklist, its requirements, consequences in case you’re not PCI compliant, and, most importantly, how the BigCommerce platform affects your PCI compliance in today's article.

Rules and Checklist that BigCommerce websites must follow to be recognized as PCI Compliance:

If you're already compliant with PCI DSS 3.2.1, you'll have a good starting point. However, PCI version 4.0 is likely to be more robust than the already thorough v3.2.1, so businesses must first figure out how to quickly arrange and assess what is required to meet PCI compliance by 2021. To get started, below is a fast PCI compliance checklist.

  1. Determine which level of compliance applies to your company.

  2. Establish privacy and compliance protocols and practices.

  3. Establish internal accountability and provide employees with compliance training.

  4. A Data Protection Officer should be appointed (DPO)

  5. Test your security systems frequently.

  6. Prepare a reaction strategy in the event of a data breach.

  7. Put both physical and technical precautions in place.

  8. Make sure your security policy is current.

  9. Using a data discovery tool, uncover the complete breadth of all cardholder data without making assumptions.

The Definition of BigCommerce PCI Compliance:

BigCommerce is a PCI DSS-compliant service provider that verifies all standards (1-12) as a shared hosting provider on a yearly basis. PCI compliance is ultimately the merchant's responsibility, and it takes into account the design of your e-commerce shop as well as different integration channels.

Why Do I Need it and How to Ensure That My Organization is PCI Compliant?

Maintaining connections with payment card companies and acquiring banks, avoiding expensive non-compliance costs, and securing your clients' payment information all require PCI compliance.

Discovering how to be PCI compliant does not have to be difficult, but the details will vary based on your company's size and context. The following is a simple nine-step strategy for becoming and being PCI compliant:

  • Step #1: Determine Your PCI Compliance Level 

PCI has set multiple tiers based on the number of credit card transactions a company does each year. Before you start PCI compliance exams, you'll need to figure out your organization's level. This will determine whether you qualify for any of the self-assessment questionnaires (see step 3) and what steps you need to do to become PCI compliant. The following are the stages:

Level 1: More than 6 million transactions per year

Level 2: 1 to 6 million transactions per year 

Level 3: Annual e-commerce transactions of 20,000 to 1 million.

Level 4: E-commerce transactions of less than 20,000 per year or any merchant processing up to 1 million Visa transactions per year.

It's worth noting that American Express utilizes different transaction counts to differentiate their PCI levels, with a Level 1 merchant handling over 2.5 million American Express card transactions annually, for example.

  • Step #2: Create a PCI Compliance Team

Create a PCI DSS committee or team to oversee your organization's PCI compliance requirements. Assign members of the committee to various PCI DSS compliance positions, such as PCI compliance project manager; employ an interdepartmental approach because the payment cards sector has so many facets. Include employees from the IT department, data security, finance, and legal departments; a diversified group will acquire a comprehensive grasp of PCI compliance.

  • Step #3: Complete the Self-Assessment Questionnaire 

Depending on the size of your business, you might wish to start with a self-assessment questionnaire (SAQ) – PCI has a table that shows which questionnaires to take based on how your company processes card payments. Larger enterprises may not be eligible for the self-assessment and will need to rely on a third-party audit to demonstrate compliance. The SAQ or third-party audit will result in the paperwork that can be provided to payment card companies to show PCI compliance or a strategy to get there.

  • Step #4: Secure Your Network

A firewall creates a secure barrier between transactions and communications that begin within your company and those that originate outside of it. Installing a firewall, as well as ensuring that all card readers and third-party vendors have firewalls, is an important step in preventing data breaches. Although some credit card processors include a firewall, they are cautious to point out that merchants are ultimately responsible for ensuring PCI compliance. If your partners or service providers are PCI compliant, don't assume your company is.

  • Step #5: Strengthen Passwords

Ascertain that all passwords are changed from the defaults created when accounts are created and that your operating system only allows users to establish passwords that follow IT best practices. The National Institute of Requirements and Technology (NIST) has updated its password standards for 2021 if you're seeking reliable guidelines.

  • Step #6: Implement Access Controls

Only those workers and partners who require credit card data should have it. Only particular devices and user accounts should have access to cardholder data, and all access should be properly authorised. Employees should have their own user IDs to enter into your IT system; track their activities, and limit access to those who are directly involved in credit card transactions and accounting.

  • Step #7: Encrypt Cardholder Data

When transmitting cardholder data, whether internally or externally, it should always be encrypted. When considering how to prevent cybersecurity breaches, your organisation should invest in suitable encryption technologies; the right solutions will ensure that card numbers cannot be recognised while data is in transit. Although PCI does not recommend any specific device, it does provide a search tool for locating point-to-point encryption (P2PE) options.

  • Step #8: Protect Stored Data

The greatest approach to protect your cardholders' data, cybersecurity experts Anton A. Chuvakin, Branden R. Williams, and Derek Milroy joke in PCI Compliance, is to not store it at all. If you're storing credit card information, whether for your own future transactions or for short-term accounting purposes, make sure it's secure. Taking steps to restrict access to physical devices and servers, frequently monitoring firewalls, and keeping a close eye on network logs for any suspicious behaviour are all part of protecting stored data.

  • Step #9: File Paperwork with Payment Card Brands

PCI automatically generates an Attestation of Compliance as part of the SAQ procedure (AoC). You can utilise an AoC to show credit card companies and banks that you've done the necessary procedures to assure PCI compliance. A third-party Qualified Security Assessor will generate a Report of Compliance (RoC) for you to share with credit card issuers and banks if you are audited. All major credit card issuers require PCI compliance from sellers and vendors and charge a monthly or annual fee to pay their compliance costs.

What are the Requirements of BigCommerce PCI Compliance:

PCI DSS has established 12 requirements for online shops and businesses to follow:

  • To protect cardholder data, set up and maintain a firewall configuration.

  • For system passwords and other security parameters, never use vendor defaults.

  • Maintain an information security policy in place.

  • Keep cardholder information safe.

  • Encrypt cardholder data transmission via open, public networks.

  • Test security systems and processes on a regular basis.

  • Develop and maintain secure apps and systems.

  • Limit access to cardholder data to those who have a business need-to-know. 

  • Assign each person with computer access a unique ID. Limit physical access to cardholder information.

  • Use anti-virus software and keep it up to date.

  • All-access to network resources and cardholder data should be tracked and monitored.

5 Consequences if You're Not PCI Compliant:

Because it is easy to steal confidential data from e-commerce, it is a popular target for bad hackers. Of course, data breaches and leaks will tarnish your reputation sooner or later, resulting in multi-million dollar fines.

None of the customers wants their credit card information to be stolen or misused in any way. If they discover the situation, the first people they would blame are online merchants, not your eCommerce system.

As a result, choosing a robust and reliable eCommerce solution has become even more important. Only check for BigCommerce PCI Compliance to guarantee that their system is secure.

If your system is identified as PCI non-compliant, you will be subjected to some of the following risks:

  • Monthly penalties

  • Data branches

  • Legal action

  • Damaged reputation

  • Revenue loss

How Your  BigCommerce  Platform Affects Your PCI Compliance:

BigCommerce's PCI DSS AOC helps merchants meet the compliance criteria for the section that defines their duties.

BigCommerce is in charge of ensuring safe credit card processing when the payment is being routed from the payment request to the payment processors.

Here is a list of duties that BigCommerce performs on behalf of the business:

  • To the degree where it has authority over merchants' stores, BigCommerce is accountable for all PCI DSS requirements (1-12) of the product.

  • BigCommerce is in charge of ensuring that any BigCommerce design changes are made in a PCI DSS-compliant way.

  • BigCommerce is in charge of monitoring that all service providers it works with are PCI DSS compliant.

Checklists for PCI Compliance:

To summarise, if you wish to be PCI compliant, you must meet at least 6 of the 12 requirements listed above in order to achieve level 1 of the PCI DSS, which is the highest level of data protection for both merchants and service providers.

BigCommerce also fulfils 6 out of 12 requirements shared previously of PCI DSS and hence stands at level 1 of PCI DSS 3.1:

  • Maintain the network's integrity and secrecy.

  • Keep track of your VMP service requests.

  • Check the network infrastructure's performance on a regular basis.

  • Credit card information is stored in a secure system.

  • Apply more stringent controls.

  • Maintain a consistent information management strategy.


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