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Archive for February, 2009

PCI Security Standard

Posted by websiteverification on February 18, 2009

My last few posts have all dealt with PCI, so I hope that you are all not getting bored just yet. It’s just that it is so important, and so I am trying to pass on the information as I find it. The topic I want to discuss in this post is the PCI Security Standard. This may also be referred to as the PCI Data Security Standard or PCI DSS. The PCI Security Standard is the means by which merchants can protect cardholder information. It tackles security technology controls and the processes for protecting cardholder data. As I have mentioned in previous posts, if your business accepts even one card for payment, you must comply with the PCI Security Standard.

The PCI Security Standard is structured by six goals which include 12 requirements. These requirements were listed in one of my previous posts, so I won’t go into a lot of detail about them, other than to mention that these requirements change just a bit depending on your merchant level. The table below offers a definition of the four merchant levels, in case you aren’t sure which level you are, and also describes some of the differences in these PCI Security Standard requirements.

Merchant Levels

Merchant Definitions/Transactions

Onsite Review

Self Assessment

Security Scan

Level 1

More than 6 million


Not required

Required quarterly

Level 2

150K-6 million

Not required

Required annually

Required quarterly

Level 3


Not required

Required annually

Required quarterly

Level 4

Less than 20K

Not required

Required annually

Required quarterly

The PCI Security Standards Council is made up of the five major credit card companies. Their website can be found at This is a really great resource for any questions you might have. So, don’t wait any longer to get your site PCI compliant.  Check it out and learn more about the PCI Security Standard to have a compliant and trustworthy business.


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