How to get PCI DSS compliance right

Six steps on the road to greater customer data security

The road to becoming Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliant can be a long one, so here we give you the Security Standards Council's Prioritised Approach of six milestones to help your organisation start your journey.

1. Remove sensitive authentication data and limit data retention

This milestone targets a key area of risk for entities that have been compromised. Remember – if sensitive authentication data and other cardholder data are not stored, the effects of a compromise will be greatly reduced. If you don’t need it, don’t store it.

2. Protect the perimeter, internal, and wireless networks

This milestone targets controls for points of access to most compromises – the network or a wireless access point.

3. Secure payment card applications

This milestone targets controls for applications, application processes, and application servers. Weaknesses in these areas offer easy prey for compromising systems and obtaining access to cardholder data.

4. Monitor and control access to your systems

Controls for this milestone allow you to detect the who, what, when, and how concerning who is accessing your network and cardholder data environment.

5. Protect stored cardholder data

For those organisations that have analysed their business processes and determined that they must store Primary Account Numbers, Milestone Five targets key protections mechanisms for that stored data.

6. Finalise remaining compliance efforts, and ensure all controls are in place.

The intent of Milestone Six is to complete PCI DSS requirements and finalise all remaining related policies, procedures, and processes needed to protect the cardholder data environment.

For more information see the Security Standards Council's paper.

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