Comprehensive checklist to ensure PCI Compliance

Linkedin 21-01-2022 e

All of us are aware of hackers and all systems are vulnerable at some point in their lifecycle. Additionally, credit card information can be hacked. Cardholder data must be processed by your  business in order to function. In other words, how do you strike a balance between operational needs, payment data security, and regulatory compliance?

In order to meet these requirements, your company may benefit from the assistance of QSAs and service providers with experience in PCI compliance and security. To ensure the security of payment card information, the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard applies PCI DSS.

Protecting sensitive payment data is a requirement, and you must meet that requirement. We’ve created a checklist in order to reduce the scope of the project and achieve PCI compliance.

PCI Data Security Standards compliance

The PCI DSS is a globally recognised standard for protecting the security of cardholder data. You must be PCI DSS compliant in order to accept payment cards from the major credit card companies.

The PCI DSS’s twelve requirements and demands include more than 300 security checks.. Examples include PCI Requirement 1, which deals with network security, as well as PCI Requirement 2. In order to meet this requirement, make sure that the firewalls, routers, and other applications protecting cardholder data are properly secured.

There are six different ways to categorise the twelve requirements. There are six different ways to summarise PCI security controls. Keep in mind that despite their apparent importance, compliance and security are not the same thing. The most likely path to compliance is via a security approach focused on data.

The six categories of PCI DSS requirements can be used to create a PCI DSS compliance checklist.

Security Checklist for PCI

1. Create and maintain a secure network and systems
A network’s safety is addressed here. An organization’s firewall and router should be installed and maintained by the company itself, rather than relying on vendor default settings. It’s all about securing your network and putting in place adequate security measures.

2. Protecting credit cardholder data
Privacy and security concerns are covered here. The data elements themselves are protected, regardless of their format. Invoices and receipts are two examples of paper records that may be stored or transported. In order to encrypt and tokenize data, it is necessary to use a combination of these two techniques.

3. Keep a watchful eye out for any potential dangers.
Malware, viruses, coding exploits, and other application security threats are discussed in detail in this section of the guide. Options include anti-virus software and security filters.

4. Evaluate all of your safety precautions very carefully.
The first two requirements listed here deal with the issue of identity and access.. Your environment’s resources, such as cardholder data, can be restricted through access control. Unauthorized access to a data centre or server room can be prevented by using locks and cameras as physical access controls.

5. Test networks need to be maintained.
Existing security measures must be checked and updated as part of this requirement. Security breaches need to be monitored and detected at all costs. In addition, you must ensure that your coding and security systems are secure and functional, as well as apply updates and patches, and deal with malware and viruses.

6. A security policy should be established and adhered to at all times.

Information security policy that governs your company’s approach to the subject.  The message should be sent to all employees, and it should reflect your company’s PCI compliance and data protection policies. Education and training are included in all of this.

In order to better understand the 12 requirements and their significance, we now have a better grasp of PCI DSS compliance’s high-level controls.

Standards for Payment Card Industry (PCI)

To assist merchants, vendors, and other organisations in complying with the PCI DSS, we’ve compiled this list of the most critical requirements. This checklist was based on the PCI SSC Quick Reference Guide.

Compliant with PCI DSS Checklist
The PCI DSS categories and requirements are now clear, so it’s time to go over our PCI compliance checklist one last time. We’ve created this checklist based on the above security requirements in the hopes that you’ll use it to determine whether or not your company is PCI compliant.

A “yes” answer to all of these questions indicates that you’ve taken the first step toward achieving PCI compliance. If you want to know what PCI compliance is all about, this guide is for you. There is no official or exhaustive PCI compliance document or audit, including an AOC or ROC.

  1. Does a firewall protect the systems where cardholder data is stored, processed, and sent?
  2. Do you need to keep the firewall up-to-date at all times?
  3. Has the vendor’s default password and security settings been modified in any significant way?
  4. Are those passwords protected and stored securely in order to prevent unauthorised access?
  5. What safeguards are in place to keep customer information safe?
  6. Cardholder data is being protected at all times while being transported.
  7. A minimum requirement is that your encryption is compliant with industry standards.
  8. Is it safe to connect to open networks?
  9. Whether or not your company has virus protection.
  10. Keep your computer software up-to-date by updating it on a regular basis.
  11. Update your software to the latest version.
  12. Is the security of your computer systems and software up to par?
  13. Do you know if the systems and applications you’ve mentioned are available?
  14. PCI-compliant systems and applications are expected to be developed at some point in the future.
  15. The number of employees who have access to cardholder data may be restricted.
  16. What a person must know or be able to handle to perform their day-to-day activities
  17. Why should I grant access to my personal information to the individual(s) in question?
  18. Each employee at your company has a unique username and password.
  19. All of these unique identifiers should be protected from unauthorised access by system administrators.
  20. System access to process, store or transmit cardholder data is restricted physically at your company?
  21. Is there a system in place to keep track of everyone who enters facilities where cardholder data can be accessed?
  22. Look for vulnerabilities in the networks of your company on a regular basis.
  23. Is there a record of this?
  24. The audit trail that these logs provide, is it reliable?
  25. It’s critical to run regular security scans to keep an eye out for potential flaws.
  26. It’s critical to know if vulnerabilities are being patched and maintained after they are discovered.
  27. Note when a new piece of software or a different configuration is introduced.
  28. The frequency of network scans, as well as penetration tests, is a matter of debate.
  29. It is important to keep an eye on critical system files for unauthorised access or modification.
  30. If this is the case, what is it and how is it implemented?
  31. Is this policy compliant with the PCI DSS?
  32. Have they been met?
  33. How often do you revisit your policy? Is it at least once a year, or more frequently if something in your system changes?
  34. Are the responsibilities of service providers for PCI compliance outlined and monitored by this policy in this document?
  35. How prepared is your organisation to deal with a data breach if one occurs?

Questions like these distil the PCI DSS. This means that even if your PCI audit includes more than 300 controls, if you can answer yes to all of these questions, you’re probably ready.

Many organisations use network segmentation, encryption, tokenization, and other methods to ensure PCI DSS compliance. Each of these technologies has advantages and disadvantages, but one stands out because it makes PCI compliance simple and reduces scope. The term “tokenization” is used to refer to this process.

For PCI compliance, tokenization in the cloud is a better and simpler option.

A merchant’s environment is kept safe by storing payment card data offsite. A data breach only exposes tokens, not any other kind of private or confidential information. Segmenting the network eliminates all of the above-mentioned components, while also enhancing security by making data inaccessible to intruders.

To further protect your customers, you can store sensitive cardholder data outside of your network. Thus, compliance was made easier and much of the validation process was delegated to PCI experts because of this.

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