What PCI Means to You

The Internet is much safer for e-commerce, thanks to the PCI compliance process. But that's small consolation when you hit one of those nightmarish compliance snags.

What PCI Means to You

The Internet is much safer for e-commerce, thanks to the PCI compliance process. But that's small consolation when you hit a compliance snag. We can help you navigate the nightmare with confidence.

PCI Services

Javelin Communications: Milwaukee PCI consultants

Milwaukee PCI compliance consultants

Preparing to venture into e-tailing? You've probably heard about a new hoop to jump through - something called "PCI." It stands for Payment Card Industry. The term broadly references international data security standards enforced by banks for online merchants.

Mainly, the standards dictate ultra-secure hosting of your e-commerce website. All vulnerable points of server attack must be ferreted out and eliminated. Noncompliance may cause your bank to may impose fines and other stiff penalties. This process unfortunately can get expensive, but has become almost mandatory because we live and we do business in the Age of the Hack.

Attaining PCI compliance adds expense in several ways. You will be expected to hire a certified scan company to do a security audit of your site; and your server will probably need to have an enterprise-level firewall installed. Rates vary by provider, but as a ballpark estimate you could be looking at a total additional annual outlay from $250 up to $1,000. Mega merchants will spend millions.

Also, cheap shared hosting won't do. You will need complete, separate control of all server ports, which shared hosting doesn't permit. Some kind of pricier dedicated-server arrangement is probably in your future. At the top of the price range are specialized hosting vendors who provide turn-key PCI-compliant service. 

There was a time not so long ago when a security measure called SSL (secure socket layer) provided adequate protection. Although still necessary, it's no longer enough.

Age of the Hack

Hackers are the reason PCI came about and the reason PCI is becoming ever more complicated and expensive. It's not going to get any less expensive because there's no chance that it will become less complicated; as witnessed by the rising incidence of big-corporate security breaches.

Many merchants apparently continue to view PCI as optional. Increasingly, NOT. It's liable to be insisted upon by your merchant service provider (the bank or other depository for your online credit revenue). MSPs take this position because they see a vested interest in your company's long-term stability.

The regulatory authority behind PCI is a prvate entity called the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council. Founded in 2006, the council is a joint venture of American Express, Discover Financial Services, JCB International, MasterCard Worldwide and Visa Inc. Those companies are the Big Five of the global credit industry. They lack any statutory authority but have tremendous clout. This clout has helped the council to become broadly accepted by the international banking community. Its word is as good as law.

The council wields power not by certifying individual websites, but by accrediting companies which specialize in website security scanning. It is your scan company which certifies to the bank that you are PCI compliant. In council parlance, scan companies are called "approved scanning vendors." There currently are some 130. You can find them here in the council's directory.

You also will find a wealth of information online if you search for "pci approved scanning vendors." A good place to start your self education is the council's homepage.

Rest assured that if you go with us as your e-commerce web designer, we can make the process work for you; and be able to explain it to you in plain English. PCI can get complicated. But with our help you will readily grasp the basics.

May We Help You?

May we help you?

Enough about us, though. You need a website that converts visitors into customers. Plus maybe some highly targeted Internet marketing? Rather than drone on about our incomparable passion and superhero creative powers, we'd much rather hear about your project.

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May We Help You?

May we help you?

Enough about us, though. You need a website that converts visitors into customers. Plus maybe some highly targeted Internet marketing? Rather than drone on about our incomparable passion and superhero creative powers, we'd much rather hear about your project.

"Thank you, thank you for everything you're doing for us."
"The guy before you, it was like dragging around a limp noodle. You nailed it on the first try."
"With your creativity and imagination, you set a new standard which is going to be very hard to match."
"Wow, that's an awful lot of image for a small company."
"I love that site, it's one of the best I've ever seen. In fact I think it might be the best."
"The thing is, it's not just the design - it's written so damn well!"
"Nothing we accomplished this year would have been possible without that website."
"Congratulations, it's beautiful, Jim, like everything you do."
"Jim, everybody knows that everything you touch turns to gold."

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