CF Muse Reader Shane Asks:
Hey mark, I'm a frequent visitor to your blog. I'm curious what precautions I should take when dealing with storing credit cards in a MSSQL2000DB. I've done plenty of e-commerce solutions, but haven't done one where I need to store the CC's for many years. I know things have changed. Do I need to encrypt these? If so, what methods do you recommend?
Well this is a huge can of worms. In early 2004 (if memory serves) Visa required all its merchants above a certain threshold that sell on-line to be "certified" as "CISP" (Cardholder Info Security Program) compliant. Non-Categorized merchants - which may be defined as merchants with less than 6,000 transactions a year, no "hack" attempts (pretty vague) and who are not on Visa's radar - have avoided the cost of auditing by keeping a low profile while visa has other fish to fry - but the free pass may be coming to an end. Since "level 1" merchants are anyone that Visa says they are, they can require you to submit to an audit (at your expense) in order to continue processing Visa transactions. Wait.. it gets suckier....