Importance Of PCI Compliance When Building An E-commerce Website

Published by Nicolas Desjardins on

Importance Of PCI Compliance When Building An E-commerce Website

If you are thinking about creating an e-commerce website, you should include PCI compliance in your plans. Considering PCI from the start helps you reduce security risks besides easing the PCI compliance burden.

All e-commerce websites need to follow the requirements stipulated by PCI-DSS. These requirements pertain to the collection, handling, and transmission of cardholder data.

As a merchant, your customers trust you with a lot of information, which might also be of interest to cybercriminals. You have the obligation of ensuring the safety of that data.

Online stores face cyber threats from all directions, thus the need to implement the best practices for securing your network. Ensuring PCI compliance right from the time you start building your online shop will go a long way in helping you secure customers’ data.

Why PCI Compliance is Essential to Merchants

In the e-commerce sphere, trust is crucial to the success of a business. In case a cyber-security incident occurs, your clients may lose the confidence that they have in you.

Consequently, you’ll lose website traffic, revenue, and brand reputation. As the popularity of online shopping grows, cybercriminals also device more complicated ways of infiltrating e-commerce stores for malicious purposes.

All e-commerce sites are vulnerable to cyber threats such as:

  • Credit card information theft, which could make your customers victims of credit card fraud and identity theft
  • Hijacking, which makes you lose customers, more so when they get directed to fake shopping carts
  • Malware, spam, and malvertising
  • Hacked e-commerce stores can get blocked by major search engines, browsers, and antivirus programs

Since these risks abound at all times, you should take measures to secure your online store from its creation stage. Observing the PCI compliance checklist will help you formulate a robust cybersecurity strategy that guarantees the safety of your e-commerce store.

How to Make Your e-Commerce Website PCI-Compliant

How do I ensure that my online store becomes PCI-compliant? Arguably, this is one question that you’ll encounter in your quest to secure your e-commerce site from data breaches.

It’s essential to ensure that the site that you are creating is PCI compliant. This will help you gain the trust of online shoppers besides avoiding the typically hefty non-compliance penalties.

E-commerce website design involves more than just looks. It also entails optimizing functionality and ensuring that information that passes through the network remains secure and confidential. As a merchant, the last thing that you’d want to encounter is a data breach. Some of the issues that you shouldn’t overlook when creating your e-commerce website include:

  • SSL Encryption. SSL certificates (secure socket layers) ensure that data passing through your network to gets encrypted. Therefore, hackers won’t be able to read the data even if they intercept it. This should be a key consideration for all merchants because it goes a long way in helping them to become PCI-compliant.
  • Storing Credit/Debit Card Information. Whenever customers check out, their credit card information ought to be transferred to you via your SSL. As such, the encrypted debit/credit card number won’t go to your database, but instead, to the third-party who processed the card. You should never store cardholder data in your database. Holding onto the data can cause security issues, more so when a breach occurs. In case of a hacking incident, it will be easier for cybercriminals to access your customers’ cardholder data.
  • Run a Test. The easiest way of determining whether your website meets all PCI compliance requirements is running a test. Once you finish creating your e-commerce store, test it to determine how compliant it is, and whether there are any problems. In case there are issues, ensure that they are mitigated before you start processing customer requests. Your merchant account services or credit card processing company should run a compliance test on the website before it gets approved.

What are the Dangers of Non-Compliance?

If merchants are found to be non-compliant, there are various consequences, including fines, reputational damage, and loss of business. Every e-commerce store that accepts card payments needs to meet all PCI compliance requirements.

Non-compliance fines can be anything between $85,000 and $4 million. Worse still, your ability to process credit card payments may get revoked.

Since PCI DSS is the brainchild of major credit card companies, its requirements are their first line of defense against negligent merchants. In case a data breach occurs as a result of failing to meet PCI requirements, the PCI council can revoke your store’s ability to accept payment cards. This will translate into the loss of business since most online shoppers prefer making card payments.

E-commerce merchants face an arduous task as far as securing their websites is concerned. Since card payments are part and parcel of the e-commerce industry, you should take measures to ensure that your store is PCI-compliant, starting the time that you create it.

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Hello everyone, I am the main writer for SIND and Fortunate Web. I’ve been writing articles for more than 10 years and I like sharing my knowledge. I’m currently writing for many websites and newspaper. Most of our sources come from official ones and government research. You can contact me on our forum or by email at: info@sind.ca.


Nicolas Desjardins

Hello everyone, I am the main writer for SIND and Fortunate Web. I’ve been writing articles for more than 10 years and I like sharing my knowledge. I’m currently writing for many websites and newspaper. Most of our sources come from official ones and government research. You can contact me on our forum or by email at: info@sind.ca.

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