The security of cardholder information is fundamental in every transaction. Since transactions involving credit cards has been on the rise across all sectors due to globalization and enhanced technology, standards have been developed by industry players to ensure that transactions are secure. A list of acceptable standards has been developed in order to regulate all transactions involving credit cards. All merchants that accept card payments including online and point of sale transactions are required to adhere to the standards.
The standards formulated by the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards need to be adhered to by every stakeholder in the credit card service industry. The policy on the handling of target credit cardholder data need to be aligned to the standards to ensure compliance with industry standards. The main purpose of the standards is to provide a secure environment for the protection of user information during card data processing. The standards cover all aspects of securing card transactions that include transmission of data, processing and storing, and disposal of cardholder information. Thus, a target credit card security policy employs the use of PCI security standards to develop its guidelines.
As stipulated in the PCI standards, the Target credit card security policy protects cardholder data by protecting stored data. The policy requires all merchants who process cardholder data to ensure the security of data in storage. Target prohibits storing of cardholder data in office or personal computers. Cardholder data should also not be stored in either internal or external servers. Computers and servers are susceptible to hacking or even access by unauthorized individuals. Thus, if personal data that can be used to correctly identify cardholders is stored in computers, they can be exposed easily to other parties. In case data should be stored for later use, the documents containing cardholder data should be kept in lockboxes. Only authorized employees should access the lockboxes.
The policy also directs that all cardholder data should be transmitted in a very secure way. If the data should be transmitted through public networks, the data should be encrypted. Sensitive data should be encrypted to avoid exposure in cases of hacking or theft. Therefore, the target credit card security policy would be compliant with the industry standards by ensuring that the data is stored and transmitted as required.
The following procedures need to be followed by all individuals who handle the processing of cardholder information.
Strict adherence to the above procedures and standards minimizes chances of exposing data to unauthorized individuals. Target should sign a binding agreement with its business partners and merchants concerning the standards and procedures. With these and other security measures, the privacy and security of credit card users would be guaranteed.
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