Keeping customer information secure has always been a necessity. Not long ago, customer information got locked away in a file cabinet somewhere to which only a select few had a key. Perhaps that still happens, but those paper files are also backed up by an electronic copy saved on a server somewhere. In today’s world, there are some companies that do most if not all of their business transactions online, accepting credit cards where, once upon a time, they might have accepted cash. Managed service providers (MSP) are no exception.
No matter how wonderful an MSP’s team is at providing disaster recovery, secure backup or anything else for its clients, if the company isn’t Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliant, business could come to a screeching halt. And if the company remained non-compliant long enough, it could go out of business altogether.
Paying with a credit card is convenient and shopping online, whether for a product or a service, saves time. People like doing it, and some prospects might even refuse to do business with a company that couldn’t accept credit card payments. So, it’s essential for MSPs that want to retain current customers and attract new ones to be PCI compliant.
The Payment Card Industry has a Data Security Standard (DSS) that all companies that accept credit card payments must meet, regardless of how the information is processed. For the protection of their customers, MSPs must first and foremost store all customer data on a secure network. And those security systems must be tested regularly to ensure that people’s personal information remains secure.
The PCI DSS has 12 criteria that businesses must meet in order to be compliant. Nine times out of ten, anything that benefits the customer also benefits the company. Maintaining a network that protects customer information protects employees’ information, too. It’s a win-win situation.
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Stuart Crawford serves as Creative Director and CEO with Sebring, FL and Fort Erie, ON-based Ulistic, a specialty MSP Marketing firm focused on information technology marketing and business development. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience pertaining to how technology business owners and IT firms can use marketing as a vehicle to obtain success.