New security standards are scheduled to be released by the PCI Security Standards Council on November 7th. The updated standards are expected to require companies to protect credit-card terminals from physical tampering and compile an inventory of system components (e.g., servers) that comply with the standards. Companies will also be required to evaluate evolving malware threats. Those that fail to comply could face fines and forced disclosure to consumers in the case of a data breach.

Small companies with few credit-card transactions can avoid many of the costs associated with becoming PCI compliant by performing a self-assessment. If you accept credit cards and never performed a self-assessment, it is something to look into doing because if you are found to be PCI non-compliant, an on-site compliance audit can cost $50,000 to $1.5 million.