Accurate risk assessment is a mainstay of the financial services industry. When you open a checking account, apply for a mortgage loan or auto loan, or for a line of credit on a credit card, you cease to be a human being and become a computer generated number for the purpose of evaluating the risk of extending you credit or issuing you a check book. That’s one purpose of the PCI DSS (payment card industry data security standard), to reduce the overall risk and liability that your customers’ sensitive authentication data being stolen and exploited. If you aren’t PCI compliant, you are putting your customers at needless risk, and there by your business as well.
When I was young, computers were still new. In fact, the “microcomputer,” which is the progenitor of today’s personal computer (PC), was a recent technological advancement. There was no internet. There were no hackers. There was no threat of a computer mastermind delving in to your most personal data. Prior to the microcomputer, computers were massive constructs that took up a whole room, if not a whole building, depending on its job. The only big fear about them then was that something would short circuit like in Fail Safe and cause an accidental missile launch against the Russians. Then in the 80, my childhood, there was this move starring Matthew Broderick and Ally Sheedy called War Games where a brilliant but delinquent high school student unwittingly stumbles upon a modem line that has access to the Department of Defense’s supercomputer that controls nuclear missile launches.
And this is when the citizens of the world began to fear the aforementioned computer mastermind, wresting control of a country’s infrastructure from a safely remote location, and bring the authorities to their knees. But this kind of threat was still fantastical, and not something that really seemed possible. Well that time is over. These days we live with the very real threat the current computer security methods will be overridden by someone with malicious intent.
Another purpose of PCI compliance is to provide a guidebook for merchants to start learning why they must protect themselves and their customers and how to do it most efficiently and completely. See our home page for detail on how to make your business PCI compliant, absolutely free.