What is the meaning of PCI DSS?
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In today's digital age, electronic payment systems have become an integral part of our lives. With more and more people using credit and debit cards to make purchases online or in-store, it's essential to ensure that these transactions are secure and protected from fraud. The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a set of requirements that have been established to ensure that merchants who accept credit card payments are protecting their customers' data. In this article, we will take a deep dive into the meaning of PCI DSS, its history, and how it works.
What is the meaning of PCI DSS?
What is the meaning of PCI DSS?
PCI DSS stands for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard. It is a set of requirements that were established to ensure that companies that process, store, or transmit credit card information maintain a secure environment. The PCI DSS was created in 2004 by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC), which is a global organization that was formed by major credit card companies, including Visa, Mastercard, etc.
The PCI DSS has six main objectives, which are:
- To build and maintain a secure network
- To protect cardholder data
- To maintain a vulnerability management program
- To implement strong access control measures
- To regularly monitor and test networks
- To maintain an information security policy
The PCI DSS is divided into four levels, depending on the volume of credit card transactions processed by a merchant. Level 1 merchants process over six million transactions per year, while Level 4 merchants process fewer than 20,000 transactions per year. Each level has its own set of requirements, with Level 1 being the most stringent.
History of PCI DSS
The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) was established in 2004 by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC). The PCI SSC was formed by the major credit card companies to create a uniform standard for data security in the payment card industry. The first version of the standard was released in 2005, and it has been updated several times since then to keep up with the evolving security landscape.
In 2013, the PCI SSC released version 3.0 of the standard, which included several new requirements, such as the need for more frequent vulnerability assessments and penetration testing. The latest version of the standard, version 4.0, is expected to be released in 2021 and will include several new requirements, such as the need for multifactor authentication and stronger encryption.
How does PCI DSS work?
PCI DSS works by providing a comprehensive set of security standards and guidelines that businesses must follow to ensure the protection of cardholder data. These standards are designed to provide a framework for businesses to establish, implement, and maintain secure payment processing systems.
The process starts with a self-assessment questionnaire (SAQ) that businesses must complete annually to ensure compliance with PCI DSS. The SAQ is a series of questions that assess the security of the business's payment processing systems, including the processes and procedures used to handle sensitive cardholder data.
Once the SAQ is complete, businesses must take steps to address any security gaps identified by the assessment. This may involve implementing new security controls or modifying existing ones to ensure compliance with the PCI DSS requirements.
The next step is to conduct a vulnerability scan of the business's payment processing systems. This involves using specialized software tools to identify any security vulnerabilities that could be exploited by hackers or cybercriminals. The results of the vulnerability scan must be reviewed and addressed by the business to ensure that any identified vulnerabilities are properly addressed.
Finally, businesses must undergo an annual compliance assessment by a qualified security assessor (QSA) or an internal security team to ensure that they are fully compliant with all PCI DSS requirements. The assessment includes a review of the business's security policies, procedures, and controls, as well as an assessment of the business's overall security posture.
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