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The Quick Guide to Fraud Detection & PCI Compliance

Posted by: MK CS Team
Category: PCI DSS

Payment Card Industry Council is committed to ensuring a hundred percent safety of cardholders’ data. To achieve a higher level of effectiveness, the council continuously upgrades norms and regulations. These changes are regulated based on the input from market research. New threats, malware, and ill practices are identified and then changes are the floated as new requirements.

Online fraud is at an all-time high, hackers are devising new methods to gain control and steal valuable data. Firms that store or process cardholders’ data continues to be the hot target because attacking them provides perpetrators with the instant gratification of monetary benefits. 

Is PCI DSS A Compulsion for Every Organization?

It is undoubtedly one of the most recurring PCI DSS questions and the answer is No. Not every organization needs to furnish PCI DSS requirements. Enterprises that receive, processes, or supports online payment are only required to get PCI DSS Compliant.

Earlier, this compliance was only applicable to businesses that processed credit card transactions but owing to the increasing number of frauds, PCI Council has included both debits as well as prepaid card transactions too. Now any organization that stores, processes or transfer any kind of cardholders’ data is required to be PCI Compliant. 

How PCI DSS Compliance helps with Fraud Detection?

One thing key stakeholders need to understand is that the compliance was devised based on the information related to hacking, breaches, and modes of unauthorized access. Over time, the council has identified new and emerging threats and provided fixes for those too. 

Today, getting PCI Compliant guarantees a level of protection against all kinds of threats and breaches and it is possible only because of the 12 requirements of PCI DSS. The mentioned requirements take care of everything, they:

  • Restrict unauthorized access
  • Identify pre-installed malware
  • Nullifies attempts of internal sabotage 
  • Provides protection against phishing
  • Restricts cross-scripting 
  • Stops encryption-decryption foul play

Here’s how PCI Compliance Assists with Fraud Detection?

1. Build and Maintain a Secure Network and Systems

Building and maintaining a secure network and systems is one of the primary requirements of PCI DSS Certification. Without securing network and systems organizations cannot apply for scrutiny. 

The compliance urges enterprises to maintain the safety of network and system, which acts as an assurance for customers. End-users are relaxed that their PCI Compliant service providers are maintaining a healthy network. 

Maintaining network safety helps with fraud identification in the following ways:

Install and Maintain Latest Firewall Configuration: PCI Compliant businesses are required to install and maintain the latest firewall configuration or they will fail their succeeding PCI inspections. When updated firewall configurations are used, the chances of hackers getting into your system reduces drastically offering a higher level of protection.

Vendor Supplied and Default System for Password Protection is Banned: The council has restricted the use of vendor-supplied and default system for password protection, which protects against unauthorized routes of access and attempts of internal sabotage. 

2. Maintain a Vulnerability Management Program

As mentioned earlier, the PCI DSS Council keeps an eye on all developments. The council keenly studies technological advancements and the kind of threats it can be subjected to. By identifying these developments and threats related to them, the council suggests change and compliant enterprises are expected to adhere by it at the earliest, which eliminates all kinds of challenges new technologies can bring. 

Maintaining a vulnerability management program is an important aspect of PCI DSS Compliance because it helps organizations:

  • Identify new threats or presence of unauthorized elements in the system
  • Sanitize system against malware that entered due to technological upgrades
  • Get rid of any file or virus left by previous technology or former employees

3. Implement Strong Access Control Measures

A huge percentage of data breaches and hacks occur due to ignorance by businesses. They often fail to delete access of former employees or run vulnerability assessments once third-party organizations leave their platform. 

PCI DSS compliance requires enterprises to “implement strong access control measures”. Here’s how it helps in keeping fraudulent events at bay:

  • Restricted Access to Servers: The access to servers are restricted only for authorized personnel like IT head, VPs, or senior-level executives. Such restrictions render all attempts of internal sabotage obsolete and promote a higher level of compliance effectiveness.
  • Record Maintenance: Also, enterprises are urged to maintain digital records of everyone who accesses the server rooms. Digital records are tough to manipulate hence it can be used to trace back to executives who initiated hacks. 
  • No Storage Device: The compliance also looks after the physical safety of servers hence has norms, which restricts all employees from carrying storage devices to the server rooms. 

4. Regularly Monitor and Test Networks

PCI Council consists of players like VISA, American Express, and Master Card, these are some of the leading online payment facilitators. Every time there’s a breach, VISA and American Express are under pressure, they are often dragged into courtrooms and made to answer queer questions about cardholders’ data safety. 

To minimize the damage and save customers as well as themselves, PCI Council has made it compulsory for businesses to continuously monitor and test networks for hackers or viruses. 

This is how regular monitoring helps with fraud detection & prevention:

  • Relies on additional services for threat identification and neutralization
  • Proactively looks for mismatched codes, encryption failure and corrects them
  • Ensures all lock and key encryption practices are followed

How to Get PCI DSS Compliant?

The pretext is very clear, to function under a safety blanket and offer to-notch customer experience, merchants and Fintech enterprises need to get PCI DSS Compliance at the earliest. Since PCI DSS is a set of regulations designed by electronic payment facilitators, you cannot get it done on your own.

Businesses today need to get in touch with a PCI DSS Certificate vendor to become compliant. PCI DSS Compliance Certificate provider can help Fintech start-ups and online merchants develop the requisite the infrastructure before applying for the certificate.

What all a PCI DSS Compliance Service Provider will offer:

  • Building a robust infrastructure
  • Develop a system that offers isolation of cardholders data
  • Setting up a system that logs everyone who accesses customer data
  • Carry on Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing
  • Install the requisite antivirus and firewalls
  • Basically, a PCI DSS vendor will help you fulfill all the 12 requirements of PCI DSS Compliance. Businesses can carry on PCI DSS self-assessment before getting in touch with vendors, this will help them speed up the process.

Final Thoughts

COVID-19 impact on job and economy has led to an increase in online frauds. Hackers are trying to take illicit advantage of organizations that are flunking PCI DSS requirements. While some hackers are trying to gain access to servers, some are happy in taking ransom money from enterprises that are in violation of PCI Compliance.

By adhering to the norms of compliance, enterprises can easily safeguard themselves from ransomware attacks and also protect their servers from getting hacked. The compliance provides the requisite protection against all kinds of existing and brewing hacks. 

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