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A Guide to PCI Compliant Hosting: Why is it Important?

Posted on September 16, 2019

In 2018, video game sales accounted for a whopping 43 billion dollars in sales.

There are 2.3 billion gamers across the world, and 60% of Americans play games every day.

Contrary to some belief, gaming is good for you. The first source says that over 70% of gamers get mental stimulation, relaxation, and stress relief, all from playing video games.

The male to female ratio is almost equal, and people from all different backgrounds and ages play video games.

The best way to ensure that you don't ruin the gaming experience for yourself or others is to make sure that your website or server is PCI compliant. Nothing is worse than being at fault for a security breach that affects your customers or your friends.

Explore this guide to find out why PCI compliant hosting is necessary for website owners.

What Does PCI Compliant Mean?

PCI stands for Payment Card Industry. The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is the payment process industry that has set the standards for data security when it comes to making payments.

If you have a business that accepts credit card payments offline or online, you or your business must comply with network rules and credit card associations concerning data security.

If you accept any form of payment by card, whether it's a debit card or a gift card, you must comply with these rules and regulations.

Not all of the details of PCI Compliance are left up to you. Some are taken care of by your web host. Some are taken care of by your payment processor, and some are your responsibility.

If you run a website or business, it's all up to you. And if you're looking for the right game server for you and your friends, make sure it has the right credentials.

What Are the PCI Compliant Hosting Requirements?

Because PCI Compliance is so critical, there are strict requirements surrounding it. Here are PCI council's recommendations for compliant server requirements.

  • Properly configured and installed firewalls and routers
  • Defenses on PCI info in storage
  • Encryption of any data transmission on public networks
  • Replacement of all default passwords
  • Regularly updated and used antivirus software
  • Maintenance of secure systems and software
  • Business need-to-know access control
  • Strict physical access controls
  • Unique IDs for every individual with access
  • Data and network access tracking and monitoring
  • Regular testing of all security measures and mechanisms
  • Information security policy

What Do the Requirements Mean?

One of the most fundamental requirements of PCI hosting is the firewall. If you want to be able to control the traffic that enters and exits a network, you'll have to incorporate at least one firewall.

PCI standards recommend that information stored on a card chip or a strip is NEVER stored. However, if your business does allow for that info to be stored, make sure that those numbers are always masked or encrypted.

At the absolute most, users should only be able to see the last 4 digits and the first 6. And whenever that cardholder data is sent from one place to another publicly, strong encryption must be implemented for both data transmission and authentication.

Your system is vulnerable if a hacker can use a list of default passwords to prey on your system. Default settings and passwords should always be deployed RIGHT AWAY.

Select an antivirus solution that provides audit logs so that your server can better detect malware before it gets the chance to spread. 

Anytime the developer of a program or software develops a patch or a security upgrade, make sure that you implement it on all critical systems first, and then less critical ones.

PCI compliant web hosting businesses should make sure that there are no opportunities for unauthorized access. Privileges should only be given to those who require that sensitive information or passcodes to do their job properly. Passwords shouldn't be left around, and the information should be changed regularly, so there isn't any chance of someone unauthorized to be able to access data or private information.

The same rule applies to physical breaches. For any outsider that enters the facility, business owners should make sure there is no chance for those outsiders to physically access ANY components of the data center.

Monitoring and Testing Is Important Too

Did you know that EVERY 39 seconds, there is a hacker attack? The United States cybersecurity budget is almost 15 billion dollars.

Those who provide PCI compliant shared hosting use monitoring to make sure breaches don't happen.

Being able to track your users allows for analytics that help determine how improper use or hacking occurs. With automated audit trails, you can review all activities of your server or business.

When security gaps are revealed, it's usually as a result of hacking. But if you can stop it before it stops, why wouldn't you? Using the right hardware, software, and testing security protocols help stop hacking before it happens.

You can also use a wireless intrusion detection system at least once a quarter.

PCI Compliant Hosting Is Necessary to Keep Your Data Safe

For website owners, PCI Compliant Hosting is pertinent in keeping valuable information, safe.

While someone can go for a long time without any data breaches or other hacking attempts, without proper protection, your time could be just around the corner.

Gamers everywhere deserve to keep the peace of mind they attain from playing their favorite games, without having to worry about hackers.

Internet users and any customer who pays for something with their debit or credit card should be able to trust the business they're supporting to keep their data safe.

Want to give your gaming server even more lives? Take a look at this article for more tips to help you boost your server's security.

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