Let’s discuss what is a PCI-compliant hosting. Many people are unaware that, regardless of their yearly sales volume, every eCommerce store that handles, retains, or transmits credit card data must be PCI compliant. Thus, it’s critical to invest some time in learning more about PCI compliance and how it affects your company.
What is PCI Compliance?
The term PCI stands for “Payment Card Industry” which is often associated with PCI DSS (the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard).
PCI is a set of security standards for all companies that accept, store, and transmit credit card data. The standards are designed to protect consumer’s data and ensure that credit card data is processed in a secure environment.
You are required to be PCI compliant if you accept any payment cards such as American Express, Discover Network, Diners Club International, JCB, MasterCard, and Visa. This includes credit cards, debit cards, prepaid cards, and gift cards.
It’s essential to understand that just because a host might be PCI compliant, that doesn’t automatically mean you’re compliant if you host your website with them.
The reason is that compliance requires many things, including how you control the access to your site, what precautions you have on your source code, how you store data on disk and in your database, run certain kinds of security scans, transmit data across public networks, and so on.
The bulk of these requirements are the responsibility of the site owner, as opposed to the physical web host. Therefore the host itself isn’t close to sufficient to be “compliant.”
No matter where you host your website, including your eCommerce site with products and shopping carts, you must never allow credit card data to pass through your website. That includes credit card numbers, expiration dates, CCV numbers, and so on.
Fortunately, it’s easy to have an eCommerce site that doesn’t process credit card data and therefore doesn’t need to be PCI-DSS compliant. All you need to do is use an external credit card processing system, which many of the existing WordPress eCommerce systems already support.
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