The art of PCI compliance in the cloud

Achieving compliance with PCI-DSS is key to managing an online donation page successfully. Just as business with an e-commerce payment processing platform must keep customer financial information secure from external threats, so too must nonprofits acquiring contributions online and from mobile devices.

When opting to launch an online donation page and create a payment processing system that is PCI compliant, nonprofits must partner with a trustworthy vendor that understands the ins and outs of data security to keep risks low. While some large enterprises may be able to bounce back from a data security breach, a nonprofit that operates on a tight budget would struggle to rebuild the financial and reputational damage resulting from a hack or loss. Therefore, PCI compliance should be at the top of the priority list for both nonprofits and vendors when launching an online payment processing portal.

Cloud maneuvers
As nonprofits are encouraged to reach target audiences and collect donations from multiple channels, the use of cloud computing technology seems inevitable. Offering a virtual environment that connects all aspects of digital operations such as social media, online payment processing and mobile solutions, cloud computing presents significant benefits to charities looking to expand operations. Cloud computing platforms are a cost-effective resource for organizations interested in advancing their capabilities without making a heavy investment in physical infrastructure.

Search Cloud Provider reported the security protocol required to remain PCI compliant while functioning in the cloud, however, must be understood by the provider and nonprofit. Make sure the organization is creating a partnership with a cloud services provider that has expertise in industry-specific security and compliance requirements rather than just a familiarity with the basics. The costs of a data breach could leave a nonprofit in ruin, and must be avoided at all costs. Likewise, the penalties of a compliance violation can also negatively impact operations, so the right vendor is the first step toward strong financial stability.

IDG reported cloud computing technology creates new opportunities for security threats to infiltrate systems. As a result, many organizations are not adopting cloud-based solutions to support their digital presence. This may be a mistake. Cloud computing technology can enable an organization to reach new heights by leveraging collaboration tools when all systems are properly secured. For example, organizations must ensure cloud-based environments are protected behind encryption safeguards to avoid breaches and ensure PCI compliance.

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