Is PCI Compliance Just Too Complex?

Turn on the screen, open the newspaper or scroll through social media and you’re sure to see a headline of another cyber hacking or breach of security. Why? Many businesses are extremely susceptible to data breaches and the worst part – it’s at their customers’ expense. Take a look at these three major data breaches from the past and the heavy fallout:


  • Home Depot – Malware infected Home Depot’s point-of-sale systems resulting in 56 million credit cards compromised.
  • Chipotle Mexican Grill – Hackers used malware to gain access to customers’ credit card information that affected roughly 2,250 restaurants.
  • TJX Companies – More than 45 million credit card numbers were stolen from TJ Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods over a period of 18 months before they were able to detect and halt the breach.

Here’s the kicker, these breaches could have been avoided through PCI compliance. Inadequate software solutions and policies created a major gap in security for Home Depot, and the use of antivirus software failed to monitor the network for unusual behavior. The case of the Chipotle hacking could have been avoided with stronger security measures and better monitoring systems. And, reports show TJX companies failed to comply with nine out of the twelve PCI requirements.


So, if hackings are on the rise and businesses know they’re vulnerable, what’s going on? Is PCI compliance just too complex?


PCI is comprised of 12 security requirements, and while the number of businesses achieving full compliance with their annual review reached a record of 55.4 percent last year, nearly half of companies fall out of compliance within a year. Once you’ve reached compliance, the challenging part is maintaining it. You need routine testing and the ability to recognize and remediate any issues quickly.


The truth is, PCI compliance isn’t too complex – you just need a dedicated expert who understands the requirements. We don't want you to become the next big headline of another data breach, the consequences are too great. We can help. Contact us today for your free, no-obligation PCI compliance audit. Your customers will thank you.



Creswell, J. (2014, Sept 19). Ex-Employees Say Home Depot Left Data Vulnerable. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/20/business/ex-employees-say-home-depot-left-data-vulnerable.html


Kollmeyer, B. (2017, May 30). Chipotle’s Data Breach: How to Tell if You May Have Been a Victim. Retrieved from https://www.marketwatch.com/story/chipotles-data-breach-how-to-tell-if-you-may-have-been-a-victim-2017-05-27


Vijayan, J. (2007, Oct 26). TJX Violated Nine of 12 PCI Controls at Time of Breach, Court Filings Say. Retrieved from https://www.computerworld.com/article/2539588/security0/tjx-violated-nine-of-12-pci-controls-at-time-of-breach--court-filings-say.html


Kawamoto, D. (2017, Aug 31). Verizon Report: Businesses Hit with Payment Card Breaches Not Fully PCI-Compliant. Retrieved from https://www.darkreading.com/endpoint/verizon-report-businesses-hit-with-payment-card-breaches-not-fully-pci-compliant/d/d-id/1329778?piddl_msgorder=asc

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Is Your Organization's Tech Ready for 2018? (Checklist)

As we near the end of 2017, it’s time to start planning for the New Year. Now, before you start making all your personal New Year’s resolutions, don’t forget to think about how you plan to make 2018 a better work year, too.

Your technology plays a big role when it comes to workplace efficiency, productivity and expenses. We’ve created a quick checklist to help you determine whether your technology is ready to power you through another year:

  • Do you recall your computer crashing on you?

  • Did you experience unexpected server downtime?

  • Where your networks knocked offline due to a bad storm?

  • Do you plan on implementing new technology products?

  • Were you affected by any natural disasters?

  • Did you experience a ransomware attack or cyber threat?

  • Have you run out of server space?

  • Are your cloud subscriptions about to expire?

  • Did you overpay for technology support this past year?

  • Did you ever experience email downtime?

  • Was it difficult to communicate with employees outside of the office?

  • Are you thinking about implementing a cloud solution?

  • Did you miss opportunities due to missed phone calls?

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If you answered yes to any of these questions, you might have a little extra work to do before you pop the bubbly and celebrate the New Year. Now’s the time to take a close look at your current infrastructure needs, how you’re utilizing the cloud, any gaps in your security, and how you can improve communications.

We want you to enjoy the New Year, not dread the countdown to January 1, 2018. Whether you just need help figuring out where to start, or want us to take a look at your entire system, we’ll make sure you have everything in order to make 2018 your best year yet.

Need some extra help evaluating your technology?

Schedule a Free Tech Assessment!

During your on-site assessment, our team of experts will identify vulnerabilities in your computer network and technology infrastructure that could be costing you business.


Here’s How You Can Minimize the Cost of Downtime

Technology is the backbone of your business, so downtime can dramatically damage bottom line. According to a 2016 ITIC survey, one hour of downtime can cost you more than $100,000. The longer it takes to get your system back up, the scarier the numbers get.

There are steps you can start taking today to prepare your systems before you find yourself staring IT downtime in the eye again

  1. Prioritize Process Efficiency

It’s pretty simple. The more efficient your processes run, the less downtime you experience. Investing your time and effort into streamlining processes will go a long way when it comes to reducing the loss of productivity your employees experience when hardware crashes and their workday is interrupted.

  1. Have a Business Continuity Plan in Place

No one likes to think that a cyberattack, natural disaster or even a simple accident could happen to them, but it’s a reality that you’re better off being prepared for. A business continuity plan ensures that your business can continue to operate even after a major incident brings all your systems down.

  1. Outsource What You Can’t Handle

If you don’t have the time, resources or tech proficiency to monitor your system, outsourcing your IT to a managed services provider (MSP) is the simplest way to minimize downtime. A MSP will monitor and maintain your vital systems to pinpoint red flags and eliminate vulnerabilities.

We understand how hard you work to keep your business running. That’s why we dedicate ourselves to monitoring your IT and eliminating red flags before they turn into the worst-case-scenario.

Contact us today and let’s strategize.

It's the Most Wonderful Time of Year Thanks to Section 179

Is brand-new tech for the workplace on your holiday wish list? Well, you do not have to wait--you'll be rejoicing this tax season thanks to Section 179.

What is the Section 179 Tax Deduction?

Section 179 allows you to deduct the complete price of any qualifying devices or application bought or leased during this past year. This means you do not have to wait for vacation sales to kick in, you can take action now to stay competitive and purchase the equipment you require while benefiting your bottom line.

Here's what qualifies:

Purchased, financed or leased equipment
Desktops, laptop computers, tablets, mobile phones
Servers, printers, routers, network switches, network security devices
Off-the-shelf applications (productivity, administrative, operating systems, etc.)

Here are a couple of limitations:

$ 500,000-- Maximum overall quantity you can deduct of equipment purchased in 2017.
$ 200,000-- Maximum overall quantity you can deduct of leased equipment in 2017.
$ 2M-- Maximum overall quantity of devices purchased in 2017 eligible for complete deduction.

Here's what you have to do:

Purchase, finance or rent the equipment and put it into use by midnight December 31, 2017. Additionally, your purchase must be for business utilize more than 50 percent of the time.

Here's how you can make the most of the Section 179 Deduction:

Just make the purchase and utilize Form 4562 to claim your deduction.
The complete deduction can be declared up until you've reached $2M in equipment or application purchases.
Past the $2M point, the reduction decreases on a dollar-for-dollar basis and disappears once $2.5 M worth of equipment is purchased.

For most situations, applying the tax break will be as simple as deducting the full amount of the purchase as a Section 179 cost; although, sometimes it can be a bit harder. To find out more about Section 179 or if you require assistance getting going, contact us to request your complimentary, no-obligation Section 179 consultation.