The Madison County Treasurer's Office is working on making its website conform to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, a set of requirements designed to ensure that companies process, store and transmit credit card information (including debit and ACH) and maintain a secure environment.
EDWARDSVILLE — The Madison County Treasurer’s Office is planning changes to its website to provide the best security it can to taxpayers.
Madison County Treasurer Kurt Prenzler said in preparing for the upcoming tax cycle his office is working on developing a new website. Part of the process is to ensure that the site is PCI-compliant, which the county servers are not, before this year’s tax bills are sent.
Prenzler said his office is set to collect about $400 million in taxes this year. He said there are concerns with the county servers that must be addressed by the county board; once his website is moved from county servers it will become PCI compliant.
“I want the public to know that the online portal where people make their tax payments is hosted by a third-party vendor, Forte, and it is secure and PCI-compliant,” Prenzler said. “Forte has a PCI Level 1 security rating, and that’s the highest standard you can get.”
Prenzler said PCI compliance, or Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, is a set of requirements designed to ensure that all companies process, store and transmit credit card information (including debit and ACH) and maintain a secure environment. He said compliance standards were launched eight years ago by the PCI Security Standards Council and are constantly evolving.
“We understand the public has concerns about security issues, especially during the past few months with the highly publicized data breaches at large retailers,” he said. “We want to strengthen our site, which is the first place people visit.”
During the county’s Finance Committee meeting this week, the Treasurer’s Office submitted an invoice for the website development. County board members questioned why a new site is needed; they said the county was working on building its own new website and felt all the departments should be on board with it.
The county signed a contract in January with a Michigan company to build its new site.
Prenzler said he had no idea the county was considering a new website until he submitted the $9,600 invoice to the Finance Committee from Clicked Studios of Edwardsville. Since taking office, as a courtesy Prenzler has submitted purchases, materials and service requests to the county, which he’s not required to do.
“The law allows me the authority for the internal operations of the office,” he said. “In fact, no one has ever suggested I waste money.”
He said since taking office he’s reduced administration costs by 30 percent, or $300,000 per year, as well as reduced printing and postage, creating a savings of more than $1.5 million.
“We’ve never encountered a problem and don’t want to,” he said. “We need to stay ahead of the curve so we can prevent problems. I think $9,600 is a small price to pay to ensure our website is safe and secure.”