Because hackers are always trying to steal credit card information American Express, Discover Financial Services, JCB International, MasterCard, and Visa Inc. design Payment Card Industry Compliance or just PCI Compliance.

So, why do you need to be PCI Compliant?

First, when the credit card ecosystem is compromised everyone is affected.  Second, if you are not PCI Compliant you can potentially be blocked from accepting payment cards and that will get you in a bad position.

If you have a site running on service like Shopify, which is a great service, you do not need to worry. Hosted shopping services should already be PCI compliant. These services exist so you do not need to think about how all the technical pieces work.

However, if you run your own system or have a custom eCommerce platform you must make sure your site is PCI compliant. On top of this if you take credit card information in a physical location you need to be PCI compliant.

Here are the 12 PCI DSS requirements in short that are needed to protect cardholder information. To keep these requirements you will need a digital team to help you because any of them are technical. Taken from the PCI Quick Reference Guide:

Build and Maintain a Secure Network

1. Install and maintain a firewall configuration to protect cardholder data.
2. Do not use vendor-supplied defaults for system passwords and other security parameters.

Protect Cardholder Data

3. Protect stored cardholder data.
4. Encrypt transmission of cardholder data across open, public networks.

Maintain a Vulnerability Management Program

5. Use and regularly update anti-virus software or programs.
6. Develop and maintain secure systems and applications.

Implement Strong Access Control Measures

7. Restrict access to cardholder data by business need to know.
8. Assign a unique ID to each person with computer access.
9. Restrict physical access to cardholder data.

Regularly Monitor and Test Networks

10. Track and monitor all access to network resources and cardholder data.
11. Regularly test security systems and processes Maintain an Information Security Policy.
12. Maintain a policy that addresses information security for all personnel.