A Complete Magento PCI Compliance Guide for Online Retailers

February 28, 2022 | Author: Alex Clark

Internet and technological developments have helped eCommerce businesses achieve unlimited growth with vast consumption since it eliminates geographical boundaries. However, accepting online payments becomes a major concern for retailers as fraudsters are persistently looking for ways to steal consumer data. That’s when buyers and sellers care about PCI compliance. So, what is PCI Compliance after all? Should your store need to be PCI Compliant? In this blog post, you will learn everything about Magento PCI Compliance for eCommerce.

PCI DSS compliance was formulated to regulate the ways eCommerce businesses ensure payment data protection and storage. If you’re running a Magento store and haven’t yet done Magento 2 migration, it will be even more challenging for you to accomplish the task of PCI DSS compliance.

The Magento 1 end of life means that the store owners are no longer going to receive updates, security patches, and official support for the software. So, it’s high time that you migrate your store to Magento 2 to become PCI compliant.

Let’s deep dive into the topic!

Magento PCI Compliance

What is PCI Compliance?

Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a set of rules and guidelines that should be followed by any online business that stores, processes, and transfers cardholder’s details. The standard defines the best practices for retailers to create a secure environment for such information.

Formed in 2006, the PCI Security Standards Council is responsible for creating these rules and governing PCI compliance for eCommerce. The council comprises leading global payment card networks such as Mastercard, Visa, American Express, JCB International, and Discover Financial Services. All eCommerce businesses need to ensure PCI compliance for eCommerce.

Note: eCommerce PCI compliance is mandatory for businesses accepting credit card payments. Even if they use third-party services such as PayPal, Stripe, Braintree, they need to meet PCI DSS compliance requirements.

Impact of PCI Compliance on Ecommerce Businesses

This section will answer your question “Why is PCI compliance important for your eCommerce business?”

If you store and process credit card information on your eCommerce website, PCI compliance is mandatory for you.

However, not all Magento store owners process or store cardholder data. You don’t need to follow PCI compliance if you’re a Magento user who uses third-party payment gateways such as Stripe or PayPal. If you use these third-party payment gateways, they process and store credit card details when the customer’s browser connects to their server, thus preventing you from transmitting cardholder data.

Nevertheless, Magento PCI compliance is still a good idea for online retailers using Magento because it protects your business as well as your customer data. Even if you’re not handling cardholder details, you still have personal data such as email addresses and phone numbers that need to be protected.

Is Magento PCI Compliant?

Well, the truth is Magento is not PCI compliant out-of-the-box. However, it can help you achieve compliance. Even with Magento 1 end of life, Magento 2 PCI Compliance still demands following certain steps.

If you want to achieve PCI compliance for eCommerce, here are some of the ways Magento can help:

  • Magento provides a payment app that is PCI compliant.
  • Magento Commerce comes with a pre-certified infrastructure for transmitting cardholder data securely.

Magento PCI Compliance Requirements

You can achieve Magento PCI compliance by following these steps which meet all PCI guidelines.

  • Establish a firewall between credit card details and public networks.
  • Update passwords provided by vendors on all devices from time to time for better password security.
  • Use a third-party payment method so you don’t need to store sensitive data on your Magento store.
  • Add an SSL certificate to ensure all transmitted data is encrypted.
  • Look out for updates on processing software.
  • Use security and antivirus software.
  • Limit access of cardholder data to limited people only.
  • Track access to data by giving individuals a distinctive login.
  • Limit access to physical data. Store hard drives or confidential papers in a safe place.
  • Ask users to sign a log when entering restricted areas that store sensitive data.
  • Run frequent penetration tests on security systems and the network to identify loopholes and vulnerabilities.
  • Formulate a security policy and educate your staff on it.
  • Last but the least, partner with a professional Magento 2 development company for ensuring advanced security and maintaining PCI compliance.

Best Practices for Magento PCI Compliance

1. Educate and Train Your Employees

PCI compliance is technical and demands deep knowledge and training before putting into practice. Make sure you are supported by an experienced Magento eCommerce development team that takes care of the security of your Magento platform.

Conduct employee training or hire industry experts who can help you ensure Magento security and PCI DSS compliance.

2. Self-Assessment Questionnaires (SAQs)

PCI DSS provides 9 self-assessment questionnaires for small-scale eCommerce business owners. SAQ is simply a Yes/No assessment to evaluate your security and take effective measures accordingly.

Once you figure out which questionnaire best fits your business, you can go ahead with the assessment and add an Attestation of Compliance.

PCI SAQ serves as evidence for better security and compliance. It is useful if you’re working with third-party businesses.

3. Regularly Document Your Security Policies and Compliance Reports

Monitor your security policies with regular documentation of changes and operational practices in your company. Both PCI Report on Compliance and Attestation of Compliance (RoC/AoC) authenticate your security and compliance.

It helps you understand whether your Magento store is secure enough to store and process cardholder data and is assessed by a Qualified Security Assessor (QSA) or a qualified internal examiner.

4. Ensure Ongoing Maintenance

Achieving Magento PCI compliance is not a one-time task. It requires ongoing management. Therefore, you must regularly perform security vulnerability scans, update security, and properly document compliance policies.

Since Magento software configurations are constantly changing, you are likely to lose PCI compliance controls and risk data protection without maintenance.

5. Partner with a Hosting Provider that Helps in PCI Compliance

All hosting providers do not have PCI compliance capabilities. Check if your hosting service provider claims PCI DSS compliance capabilities.

6. Check the Installed Plugins and Extensions

Make sure all your plugins/extensions as well as your content management system is PCI compliant. Using a minimum number of plugins and extensions on your site can reduce the security risk significantly.

7. Ensure Secure Checkout

Work with an authorized scanning vendor to secure your payment processing software. Add an SSL certificate to encrypt your online transactions.

What Happens If Your Business is Not PCI Compliant?

There are 4 PCI compliance levels based on which merchants are evaluated:

  • Level 1:Merchants process over 6 million transactions annually.
  • Level 2:Merchants process between 1 and 6 million transactions annually.
  • Level 3:Merchants process 20,000 to 1 million transactions annually.
  • Level 4:Merchants who process less than 20,000 transactions annually.

The charge for a business’ PCI non-compliance depends on the different compliance levels that it falls under.

Level 1 merchants face an external audit that evaluates technical documents, reviews payment controls, and provides education to meet compliance. From Level 2 to 4 perform self-assessment using the above-mentioned SAQ.

If the credit card companies find banks that are doing business with merchants who have violated PCI compliance will charge the banks between $5,000 and $100,000/month. When fined, the banks pass the penalty onto the merchants.

Sometimes banks are most likely to end their partnerships with merchants who continue to fall out of PCI compliance and receive penalties.

Magento PCI compliance is mandatory for eCommerce businesses that use the platform and process credit card payments.

Wrapping Up

Making your Magento store secure with PCI compliance is a complex process. It demands a lot of time and expertise to create compliance attestations and reports.

As the Magento Commerce platform is certified with Level 1 PCI compliance, you can use their attestation to meet compliance. Retailers who process high-volume transactions often look to skip the commission fees of the payment processor. Large-scale eCommerce businesses accept credit card payments directly.

Magento Commerce reduces compliance responsibilities for such businesses. However, for small to medium-sized Magento stores, it’s good to select reliable payment gateways such as PayPal, Amazon Pay, Braintree, Stripe, etc. A secure and trusted payment processor reduces the hassle of PCI compliance processes.

To strengthen your Magento security, you should choose a hosting provider that monitors and updates your system for better performance and security. It is also wise to partner with a professional Magento 2 development company that can help you meet PCI compliance requirements and create a safe environment for your payments.

As a leading Magento eCommerce development company, we are here to deal with all the regulations and make your Magento store fully compliant and secure. Get in touch with us for a consultation today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q.1. What if my website is not PCI compliant?

Ans. If your website is not PCI compliant, it won’t be able to accept credit cards, and as a result, you will lose your merchant account.

Q.2. Is it necessary to be PCI compliant?

Ans. – Yes, it is. If you have an eCommerce website, being PCI compliant is mandatory. Abiding by the Payment Card Industry standards helps you ensure that your customer’s sensitive payment data is protected from security vulnerabilities and cyber attacks.

Have More Questions? Feel Free to Ask Our Magento 2 Experts.