How Your Business Can Learn from Punxsutawney Phil

Written by: Hanna Wolsfelt

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From the desk of our very own Peter Caparso:

As winter settles in and the days grow colder and darker, a faction of the US population look to a small town roughly 90 miles northeast from Pittsburgh to see if the warmer weather will be returning soon.

As the story goes, if Punxsutawney Phil emerges from his warm burrow and sees his shadow, winter will continue for six more weeks. If it is cloudy, then the US will enjoy an early spring.

Our furred friend has seen his shadow 99 times out of the last 114 years which usually results in him going back underground and sleeping until the spring shows up in March.

Unfortunately for us New Englanders, Phil did see his shadow this morning (despite overcast skies), which means six more weeks of winter. I am seeing the irony here as there is a foot of snow predicted to cover our existing two feet of snow in Boston today. Will the piles of snow reach the top of the Prudential building? Stay tuned…

This exercise in amateur meteorology got me thinking of what is happening with merchants today in regards to PCI Compliance.

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI) is a security standard administered by the card brands that covers merchants who handle card payments (whether it be online or offline). It was designed to be a single comprehensive framework that would encompass security, data and privacy issues.

With the continued explosive growth in online and mobile sales (coupled with merchants seeking to sell beyond North America) the need for PCI compliance and vigilance is only increased on a daily basis.

This year, the PCI standards are changing with version 3.0. These 3.0 regulations will require merchants to fill out certain self-assessment questionnaires (SAQ) depending on the type of checkout they use on their site. Merchants who take a passive attitude towards implementing these regulations could be exposing themselves to significant fines and/or termination from their payment providers (and hence being put out of business).

As the temperature dips, it is extremely tempting to just go back down into a warm burrow and wait for sunnier days to deal with these new standards. However, with the ever-changing online marketplace expanding globally, now is not the time to play possum.

Besides – there are only 65 days to spring!

Interested in learning more about PCI 3.0 regulations? Click here to access SecurityMetrics eCommerce Guide To PCI DSS 3.0.