Nearly half of 'micro-merchants' still unclear about PCI compliance

Nearly half of 'micro-merchants' still unclear about PCI compliance

Despite highly publicized cyberattacks on businesses of all sizes, many merchants are still not taking precautions to secure business and customer data.

According to a recent survey by a leading PCI compliance solution company, 48 percent of so-called "micro merchants" - businesses with 10 or fewer employees - were either unclear or not familiar with the PCI Data Security Standard. Conversely, 77 percent of companies with 51 or more employees were at least somewhat acquainted with PCI DSS.

The most productive way to increase business awareness regarding PCI compliance is to get banks involved with the process of educating organizations about the importance of data security, the study said.

"Some banks will just send out a statement message to their merchant partners and that's it," said PCI compliance expert Heather Foster, according to a Bank Systems & Technology report. "However, other banks are doing much more elaborate education on the PCI compliance process, and that is something they should be doing to protect themselves and their customers."

According to a recent study by a internet security company, 82 percent of small businesses were able to become compliant in under 12 hours. However, 9 out of 10 incidents of credit card data breach occurred in small businesses that made less than 1 million transactions per year, the report said.