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Understanding e-commerce requirements for PCI DSS

Why do e-commerce businesses need PCI DSS?

Working hard to protect cardholder data during online transactions is fundamental to running any website or app that takes payments online. Maintaining PCI DSS compliance not only helps businesses keep themselves and their customers safe; it also demonstrates proactivity in maintaining security, confidentiality and integrity across an organisation.

The latest iteration of PCI DSS introduces various new requirements and safety measures to improve e-commerce security further – encouraging online businesses to mitigate common risks and reduce their threat surface area.

New measures and their e-commerce impact

There are 51 new requirements introduced in PCI DSS 4.0, which come into effect in April 2025. Among the many significant updates designed to address 21st century cybersecurity issues, organisations will find that a greater emphasis has been placed on protecting customer interactions through greater browser security. This appears to be a direct response to the proliferation of online skimming and Magecart attacks in recent years.

Due to the raft of new requirements, it is necessary for e-commerce businesses to conduct a thorough review of their security protocols, tightening their approach to data handling and following more rigorous and robust security procedures for customers.

While it is easy to see these measures as box-ticking exercises, it is important to remember that by implementing effective security measures and reducing risk, online stores may significantly reduce the threat of a breach or card data leak.

Best practice for achieving PCI DSS compliance

E-commerce businesses have 51 new requirements and an April 2025 deadline to contend with, so acting early is key to saving headaches down the line. A proactive approach to accreditation means developing a clearly defined strategy that accounts for execution, policy planning, and technical and cultural shifts within the organisation.

For busy e-commerce stores with a million jobs to complete, the idea of gaining and maintaining compliance can often feel overwhelming. So, a phased approach to implementation is often advisable: helping to break down tasks into manageable chunks that don’t impact on day-to-day tasks or drain internal resource. This considered, phased approach also encourages regular assessment and refinement.

Key dates for PCI DSS 4.0: what you need to know

For organisations yet to update to PCI DSS 4.0, creating a schedule for achieving compliance should be the first step. Leaving compliance until the last few weeks before March 2025 simply isn’t an option.

Auditors began using the new version of the standard in April 2024 and will require all organisations to comply with 4.0 by March of 2025, so there really is no time to waste.

E-commerce businesses should aim to engage in continuous assessment of hardware and software, educate staff on the new requirements and utilise tools and services designed to make the compliance process easier.

Your PCI DSS compliance journey with Hicomply

Compliance doesn’t have to be a rocky road. At Hicomply we make working towards PCI DSS simple and straightforward. Wave goodbye to endless spreadsheets, complex internal processes, poor visibility, and accountability gaps with our end-to-end solution.

Our ISMS software takes the hassle out of PCI DSS compliance, from mitigating reports to scoping documents, reducing the time, effort, and resources your business needs to deliver. Get real-time updates on PCI DSS requirements, tailored to your organisation’s needs, with a single, simple platform that makes accreditation a painless process.

Not currently using Hicomply? Ready to find out more about what the platform can do for you? Book a demo.

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