Report: Most businesses fail to meet card security standards

New York - A new Verizon report has found that too many businesses, following their annual assessment for meeting the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, fail to maintain ongoing compliance – putting the businesses at an increased risk for data breaches, and financial and reputational damages.

The “Verizon 2014 PCI Compliance Report” indicates that payment card transactions remain a prime target for attackers, and the rate at which data breaches are occurring appears to be increasing. According to the report, in most cases, payment card data breaches are not a failure of security technology or of compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), but rather a failure to implement appropriate compliance and security measures as intended.

However, organizations’ initial compliance with the PCI standard has shown some improvement. In 2013, more than 82% of organizations were compliant with at least 80% of the PCI standard at the time of their annual baseline assessment, compared with just 32% in 2012.

There were also regional differences due to breach notification laws, varying legal requirements and levels of adoption. The Asia-Pacific region took the top spot (75%), followed by the U.S. with 56% and Europe with 31% in meeting at least 80% of the PCI requirements.

Areas where businesses struggle the most in achieving initial compliance include: security testing (23.8%); security monitoring and the ability to effectively detect and respond to data compromised (17%); and protecting stored sensitive data (55.6%).

“We continue to see many organizations viewing PCI compliance as a single annual event, unaware that compliance needs to have a 365 day-a-year focus,” said Rodolphe Simonetti, managing director, PCI practice, Verizon Enterprise Solutions. “Anything less than 100% compliance is an issue for businesses today. We have seen time and time again that noncompliance leaves an organization open to credit card theft, which can potentially cost hundreds of millions of dollars when you factor in all the damages, not to mention lost consumer trust and the impact on brand reputation. Organizations need to rethink how they factor in maintaining a PCI-compliant environment, whether it’s devoting more resources or working with a managed security services provider.”


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