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Firms are RUBBISH at payment security

One in five bothered to meet standards

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Most retailers and other businesses are continuing to struggle with payment card industry standards, placing confidential customer data at a heightened risk of exposure as a result.

A Payment Card Industry (PCI) Compliance Report from Verizon found that just one in five (21 per cent) organisations achieved compliance during initial Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) audits. While the compliance situation has neither worsened nor improved compared to previous years, it is still "disappointing", according to Verizon.

Compliance requirements that organisations most struggled with included protecting stored cardholder data, maintaining security policies, tracking and monitoring access, and regularly testing systems and processes, all factors directly linked to protecting cardholder data.

Failure to achieve compliance means fines and increased transaction fees from the credit card brands, but complacency, overconfidence and other factors mean that many organisations who take credit card payments are continuing to struggle to make a passing grade.

Verizon's analysis come from the results of more than 100 PCI Data Security Standard assessments alongside information gathered in researching Verizon’s annual studies into real-world payment card data breaches. The assessments include data from organisations based in the US, Europe and Asia.

Security researchers at Verizon argue there's a direct correlation between data breaches and non-compliance. Breached organisations are significantly more likely to not be PCI compliant and are more likely to suffer from identity theft and fraud issues, it concludes.

"We had hoped to see more organisations complying with the PCI standard, since we believe that compliance will ultimately improve the security posture of organisations and in all likelihood lead to fewer breaches," said Wade Baker, director of risk intelligence, Verizon. "By reviewing this report, organisations can see where to focus their efforts and implement our recommendations for helping to accelerate PCI compliance. Our end goal is a safer credit-card environment for consumers and businesses," he added. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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