What is the PCI DSS compliance?

The Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council establishes technical and operational requirements to secure payment information. All retailers and organizations that process, handle, or distribute such info must follow the PCI DSS international standard. American Express, Discover Financial Services, JCB International, MasterCard Worldwide, and Visa Inc., the major payment card brands that formed the Council, all follow the PCI set of guidelines, which are mandatory for their respective stakeholders.

The PCI DSS refers to any entity that stores, manages, or transmits cardholder data. It refers to the technical and operational system components found in or linked to cardholder information. Just a few examples include retailers, banks, distributors, developers, and point-of-sale vendors. If your company accepts or handles credit cards, the PCI DSS must be followed.

Version 1.0 of PCI DSS was introduced in December 2004.

What are the requirements for PCI DSS compliance?

The PCI DSS is a worldwide data privacy standard that must be adopted for any company of any scale that accepts credit cards. It outlines common-sense protection measures that are aligned with industry best practices.

There are twelve specifications in the PCI DSS:

  1. Secure your system with firewalls
  2. Passwords and preferences should be configured
  3. Keep cardholder information secure
  4. Ensure that data about cardholders is transferred safely over public networks that are open to the public
  5. Anti-virus software should be updated regularly
  6. Systems should be updated regularly
  7. Access to cardholder data should be limited to those who have a business need to know.
  8. Each individual with computer access should be given a unique ID
  9. Physical access to the workplace and cardholder data should be limited
  10. Logging and log monitoring should be implemented
  11. Vulnerability scans and penetration checks should be performed
  12. Conduct documentation and risk assessments

Why should you be PCI DSS compliant?

PCI enforcement is not only a legal obligation to deter identity fraud, but it also provides best practices for identifying, preventing, and resolving data breaches. PCI compliance often prevents a company from an event of a data breach in which cardholder data is exposed.

If your organization fails to maintain standards and a data breach occurs as a result of PCI non-compliance, the card networks will levy a fine. Penalties for non-PCI enforcement are serious. Merchants and payment processors that aren’t PCI compliant could face penalties ranging from $5,000 to $100,000 a month, depending on a number of factors.

How to achieve compliance?

The PCI Security Standards Council defines the main security standards, but each payment card company has its own enforcement program. Your acquiring financial institution should be contacted with specific enforcement queries.

Qualified Assessors

The Qualified Security Assessor (QSA) and Approved Scanning Vendor (ASV) certification programs are provided by the Council. QSAs are businesses that help organizations evaluate and validate compliance with the PCI DSS by assessing the protection of their payment processing systems. 

Self-Assessment Questionnaire

The “SAQ” is a PCI DSS compliance validation tool for merchants and service providers who are not expected to conduct on-site assessments. For various business circumstances, different SAQs are needed.

The compliance validation requirements are defined by the number of transactions, possible harm, and visibility introduced into the payment system.

Using the Centraleyes platform enables you to manage and review your PCI compliance. The platform also  maps this framework back to its extensive control inventory from other frameworks such as the NIST frameworks. The Centraleyes platform saves time and resources , generates more accurate, measurable data and brings you peace of mind when working towards PCI compliance.

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