PCI DSS isn’t going away any time soon. The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard is a proprietary information security standard for organizations that handle branded credit cards from the major card brands, including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover and JCB. PCI DSS provides an actionable framework for developing a robust payment card data security process, including prevention, detection and appropriate reaction to security incidents. In fact, Version 3.0, which has been in effect since this January, imposes new requirements on entities handling customer data—all organizations must meet the Jan. 1, 2015, deadline for complying with PCI 3.0 standards. While compliance is no guarantee a company won’t be hacked, recent massive and well-publicized data breaches make it clear that having safeguards in place from the start may mitigate the risk of data breaches. True PCI DSS compliance requires ongoing effort, commitment and discipline. By taking these five steps, brought to you by Sungard Availability Services, organizations can better allocate their resources and focus on the effectiveness and efficiency of their PCI DSS compliance programs as well as the safety of the cardholder data they’re entrusted to protect.