Are you PCI compliant?

Closed to Risk, Open for Business: Is your business PCI compliant?

What is PCI DSS and does it apply to my business?

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The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a set of requirements designed to ensure that ALL companies that process, store or transmit credit card information maintain a secure environment.  Essentially, these standards apply to any merchant that has a Merchant ID (MID). So if any customer of your organisation ever pays directly using a credit/ debit cards, then the PCI DSS requirements apply to you.

 I have data encryption.. am I compliant?

Do you think your business is PCI compliant because cardholder data that you store in the Point of Sale system (POS) is encrypted? Not so. Encryption of credit card data is only 1 of 12 core requirements to safeguard your customer’s credit card information and maintain your reputation. Another is “vaulting” or segregating the cardholder data from the rest of your network. How many businesses can truly state that they have this in place?

In order to be PCI compliant you must implement all the requirements of the PCI Security Standard Council, and be actively and regularly reassessing your adherence to these requirements.

What happens if you don’t comply?

The payment brands may, at their discretion, fine an acquiring bank 5,000 USD to 100,000 USD per month for PCI compliance violations. The banks will most likely pass this fine on till it eventually hits the merchant. Furthermore, the bank will also most likely either terminate your relationship or increase transaction fees.  Penalties are not openly discussed nor widely publicized, but they can catastrophic to a small business. This is not to mention the repercussions for your business in terms of lost customers and damaged reputation.

How can you become PCI compliant?

With our industry experience in this area, Systemnet can assist you with your remediation efforts to achieve compliance and prepare for an external PCI audit by a Qualified Security Assessor (QSA). For more information on PCI visit

Why not contact us now for a no obligation discussion on how we can help you achieve PCI compliance!


Comparing laptops

Comparing laptops

Home vs Business


Thinking of buying a new laptop for business? Consider that a business-grade laptop might be the way to go. It’s more expensive than the models you see in Harvey Norman and Dick Smith, but there are some distinct advantages of buying business-grade:








1. Easier to network

If you want to connect your laptop to a domain in your office (to share files or access printers) then you will want to run Windows 8 Pro (the business-grade edition of Windows). Consumer-grade laptops don’t usually come with the Pro version which makes them harder to network.

2. Durability

A business-grade laptop is usually made of more durable components to last you at least three years. Build quality is usually much better consisting of more alloy material and less plastic. When a business laptop hits the market it usually sticks around for much longer than the flashy consumer models which means it is typically more reliable with lower failure rates.

3. Security

Business laptops usually have better in-built security features such as hard drive and firmware encryption. They also have better physical security options such as biometric/access card options and a slot to connect a desk lock.

4. Docking Station

You can reduce cable clutter and keep your desk clean with a docking station. Compatible docking stations are a common accessory with business-grade laptops which comes in really handy if you spend your life in and out of meeting rooms.

5. Warranty

Consumer laptops usually come standard with a one-year “back to base” warranty. Business laptops typically include better and longer support and warranty options such as 3-year next business day on-site repair.

Please contact us if you need advice on the best laptop for your business.

Techie Christmas gifts to avoid

Looking to buy the latest gadget for your loved one this Christmas? Here are 5 techie

gifts to avoid:




1. eBook reader

In 2011 we all bought eBook readers for our loved ones but since then tablets have come a long way. eBooks have traditionally been much cheaper than tablets but these days you can pick up the latest 7” Android tablet for under $200. eBooks have the advantage of being easy to read for long periods (using E Ink technology) but increasingly we are becoming used to reading books on our glossy tablet screens.

2. Windows RT tablet

Windows RT is the cut-down version of Windows 8 specifically designed for personal use to compete with iPad and Android. The problem is that Microsoft can’t compete on a like-for-like tablet with Apple and Google because they don’t have the range of apps. We can’t understand why Microsoft doesn’t drop RT for the fully-functional Windows 8 / Pro software. You may as well pay a bit extra to unlock the full functionality (support for legacy software, outlook and other business applications).

3. Smart watches

We’re on the verge of a revolution in smart watches – either that or the smart watch is a fad that will die out quickly. Either way you probably should not buy a smart watch now because Apple, Samsung, LG and Google are all reportedly working on major products for release soon. Early players have either delivered unstable performance or a mediocre set of functions. Just wait to see what happens.

4. 3D TV

3D TV is a fad, no doubt about it. When Avatar came out we were all sold on a 3D TV for our lounge room only to realise you can’t relax with your 3D glasses and a headache. So if you want to buy your partner a new TV this Christmas, is it really worth paying extra for 3D? We think not.

5. Bluetooth tracker tags

Bluetooth tracker tags are keyring-sized devices that you can stick or attach to those items you don’t want to risk losing – your wallet, keys, remote control or even your kid (attached to the shoelace)! The concept is great but the execution is not quite there yet. You need to be within 30 meters of the device to locate it and the tracking signal is not great. SticknFind (link) and Genie (link) are two leading models but we are all waiting for Tile (link), which is due to be launched mid next year. It might sound like a great gadget for Christmas but best wait for the next generation.

Apps for business travelers

ohpioneer255 must have apps

for business travelers

Here are five mobile apps for your smartphone or tablet that will help make any work trip more productive:

1. TripIt

Travel usually involves bookings for flights, accommodation and rental cars. Add to that scheduled meetings, dinners, directions to the hotel and you end up with a lot of information, often in separate emails. TripIt puts all that together into one itinerary. You simply email TripIt your confirmation emails and it automatically compiles it for you. The basic version is free, while the paid one includes mobile alerts, complimentary memberships and the ability to share your itinerary with others. Travel managers can also use TripIt Teams to build itineraries on behalf of their staff.

2. XE currency

How do you know if two million Vietnamese dong is too much to pay for a soft drink? This app converts about 180 global currencies using the real-time rates. And when you are stuck on a 14-hour flight from Sydney to Los Angeles and want to know how that acquisition looks in Australian dollars, the app uses the last downloaded figures to make the conversion offline. And yes, two million dong is quite a pricey drink at a tick over $100 Australian dollars.

3. Dropbox

This online storage app allows you to share presentations, reports and minutes of business meetings quickly and easily when you are on the go. Simply upload the file and those back in the office or at home are able to download it via PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone. The app also allows users to put files in their favourites list for offline viewing.

4. Smart Office

This app is perfect when inspiration strikes just before an important presentation, requiring a last-minute change to a PowerPoint slide. The Smart Office app allows you to edit PowerPoint, Word, Excel and PDF files on the go and also connects to storage services such as Dropbox and Google Docs.

5. WhatsApp

The popular instant messenger program allows you to send text messages to other mobile phone users via both Wi-Fi and a cellular network. Texting over Wi-Fi is a big cost-saver when overseas. The app, developed by two former Yahoo! Employees, includes nifty features such as group chats, location and contact sharing and the ability to send and receive pictures and audio notes.

Remember, overseas data charges can result in astronomical phone bills back at home, so take care and try to use free wi-fi or buy a local sim card.