PCI DSS and Credit Card Security

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The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is administered by the PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) to decrease payment card fraud across the Internet and increase credit card data security. Organisations that accept, store, transmit or process cardholder data must comply with the PCI DSS.

If you are a merchant, the PCI DSS applies to you. Even if you have subcontracted all PCI DSS activities to a third party, you have the responsibility for ensuring all contracted parties are compliant with the Standard.

If you are a service provider, including a software developer, the PCI DSS applies to you if you process, transmit or store cardholder data, or your activities affect the security of the cardholder data as it is being processed, transmitted or stored.

There are 12 high level requirements, and they fall into the six categories below:

Build and Maintain a Secure Network

  1. Install and maintain a firewall configuration to protect data
  2. Do not use vendor-supplied defaults for system passwords and other security parameters.

Protect Cardholder Data

  1. Protect stored data (use encryption)
  2. Encrypt transmission of cardholder data and sensitive information across public networks

Maintain a Vulnerability Management Program

  1. Use and regularly updateanti-virus software
  2. Develop and maintain secure systems and applications

Implement Strong Access Control Measures

  1. Restrict access to data by business need-to-know
  2. Assign a unique ID to each person with computer access
  3. Restrict physical access to cardholder data

Regularly Monitor and Test Networks

  1. Track and monitor all access to network resources and cardholder data
  2. Regularly test security systems and processes

Maintain an Information Security Policy

  1. Maintain a policy that addresses Information SecurityThe Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a proprietary information security standard for organizations that handle branded credit cards from the major card schemes including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, and JCB.