December brings a lot of holiday cheer not just for everyday consumers, but also for retailers thanks to the surge in sales during this period. But it’s not just the retailers that experience a huge boost in profits: Cybercriminals are also looking to maximize their ROI on cyberattacks, and they enjoy preying on the massive number of financial transactions during the holidays. Retailers that fail their PCI compliance may have the biggest bull’s-eye.

Cybercriminals Enjoy Happy Holidays

The average cost of a data breach per lost or stolen record in the retail industry increased dramatically from $105 last year to $165 in 2015, according to the Ponemon Institute’s “2015 Cost of Data Breach Study.” If a retail site is hacked or disabled, average losses may amount to as much as $500,000 per hour, or $8,000 per minute, according to Dark Reading. In addition to the direct financial loss, there are also reputational damages to the brand and loss of customer confidence that affect all future sales, further amplifying the financial impact.

Calculate how much a data breach could cost your organization

Credit card processors, mainly retailers, are regulated by the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), which requires organizations to ensure certain data protection standards are enforced at all times to keep cardholder data safe. These PCI standards aren’t the only requirement to keep your data secure, but they are the first, most basic step.

The Importance of PCI Compliance

Most companies fail to maintain compliance with PCI DSS, exposing their systems and endpoints to potential breaches. While audits and compliance checks are conducted on a regular basis, these only confirm compliance at a point in time, which leaves organizations exposed between scans. This is shown in the graph below with the traditional, scan-based method of checking compliance.


What organizations need is an endpoint security solution that enforces continuous compliance and reports on compliance status in real time. When you find noncompliant endpoints, you need an incident response tool to immediately remediate the issues.

Automating these compliance checks can streamline the effort of enforcing PCI DSS while saving costs and time. With the IBM BigFix Compliance Payment Card Industry (PCI) Add-On, you can now get automated, out-of-the-box PCI DSS compliance checks to ensure you are continuously compliant at every endpoint both on and off your corporate network. Noncompliant endpoints can be automatically quarantined until remediation is complete.

Watch the on-demand Webinar to learn more about protecting your data from cyber-thieves

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