PCI DSS Compliance

PCI DSS stands for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard. PCI DSS is a compliance security standard specially designed for safe credit card transactions. It is implemented to ensure that companies that accept, store, and process credit card information maintain an extremely secure environment. It fundamentally helps companies achieve safe and secure transaction modes, thereby protecting sensitive and private information of the cardholders.

With growing business demands and advent of newer technologies, there is a rise in the credit card transactions. Every company which deals with credit card transactions should ensure to maintain PCI DSS compliance. Any e-commerce business, banks, or retail businesses constantly dealing with credit card transactions need to follow PCI DSS compliance to ensure robust payment methods and prevent identity theft. Timely PCI assessments should be done by a Qualified Security Assessor – QSA.

image edit PCI DSS

Any entity dealing with card payments requires being PCI DSS compliancy to ensure secure card transactions. Not having the required compliance standards poses risks of private and confidential information leakage, and possible repercussions of identity theft and fraudulent card transactions.

PCI DSS is important for all scale service providers, banks, sellers, and any organization that deals with credit card payments. This is equally important for businesses that deals with a mobile app having an integrated payment model. PCI DSS plays a crucial role in establishing a company’s credibility to maintain and safeguard user’s card related information. Additionally, it ensures safe card usage by providing tight and restrictive controls around the storage and transmission of cardholder data.

TechForing chooses a systematic approach to enable any company to achieve PCI DSS compliance. We follow a formal process, involving experts, to evaluate and cater to the required PCI DSS compliance guidelines.

Our approach while dealing with PCI DSS compliance support is:

SAQ: A typical PCI DSS cycle requires businesses to complete a Self-Assessment Questionnaire or SAQ which is created by the PCI Security Standards Council. We at TechForing guide you through completing the SAQ.

Identify Levels of PCI: PCI compliance has 4 identified levels purely based on transaction volumes. Each of these levels requires you to undergo a different set of validations. Below are the levels and the requirements:

  • Level 1– Processing volume of 6 million cards or more transactions per year
    1. Requires annual Report of Compliance- ROC by a QSA (Qualified Security Assessor) or an internal auditor, if signed by an officer of the company
    2. Quarterly approved network scan by an Approved Scan Vendor- ASV
    3. Attestation of compliance form
  • Level 2 – Processing volume between 1 and 6 million transactions per year
    1. Requires SAQ
    2. Quarterly network scan by ASV
    3. Attestation of compliance form
  • Level 3 – Processing volume between 20,000 and 1 million transactions per year. This has a requirement similar to level 2.
  • Level 4 – Volume lesser than 20,000 transactions per year. This has a requirement similar to level 2.

Finding the compliance level is the first step. Our team helps to validate your compliance level through a detailed SAQ. Based on the level, we provide technical support around this. There are a total of 12 requirements to be satisfied for PCI compliance.

The 12 requirements can be broadly classified into the below-defined guidelines and in each step we guide you through the process-

 

  • Build and Maintain a Secure Network: This has two key areas-
    • Implement Firewall Configuration – Help to establish, implement, and configure firewalls and routers based on specific configuration standards. Provide network architecture diagrams to summarize the tightening of access controls, and help you build firewalls between the internal and untrusted network in a card access environment. Check open networks to add and manage firewall restrictions.
    • Eliminate Default Configurations- Provide help to scan and eliminate usage of default passwords provided by vendors while accessing third party applications, software, or systems.

 

  • Protect Card Holder Data: This can be further classified as-

 

  • Protect Data – Ensure effective and restrictive network access. Add restrictions on inbound and outbound traffic, thereby allowing to closely monitor network traffic. Prevent direct access without proper authentication and authorization. Inspect and implement packet filtering. Provide help to isolate cardholder data environment.
  • Encryption – Apply strong encryption algorithms and encrypt the transmission of cardholder data via the public and open network.

 

  • Vulnerability Management: This can be further divided as-
    • Updated Antivirus Software – Ensure regular software updates, patch updates, and install antivirus on all the core system components.
    • Maintain Secure Applications – Check for all known security vulnerabilities and ensure to incorporate well-known configuration standards. Ensure system hardening as per hardening standards such as CIS- Center for Internet Security, ISO- International Organization for Standardization, NIST- National Institute of Standards Technology, and SANS- SysAdmin Audit Network Security Institute.

 

  • Implement Stronger Access Control Measures: We help you manage these controls. This can be broadly divided as-
    • Restrict access to cardholder data based on business.
    • Access allocation to every individual concerned with cardholder information.
    • Physical access restrictions to cardholder environment.

 

  • Regular Monitoring and Testing: We help you in the monitoring of the system in the following ways-
    • Track Network: Monitor access to the complete network and cardholder data.
    • Testing: Help to maintain system component standards as per PCI requirements, and have regular tests for security systems and processes.

 

  • Maintain Information Security Policy: Handle all information security related policies for your organization. Evaluate the security of protocols being used. Help to document business justification for use of these protocols. Document details about port and security measures taken while implementing any insecure Ensure security policies pertaining to IP address masking, allowed and restricted ports, and firewall and proxy servers are documented as per PCI guidelines. Ensure detailed documentation of security policies and enough evidence to prove these security factors.

TechForing provides cost-effective guidance for PCI DSS compliance. The cost depends on network architecture, organization size, storage of cardholder data, and cardholder environment.

Below are the components for PCI DSS evaluation and the estimated costs. Based on the business domain and requirement, an organization can choose to skip, or add, additional steps. Below are rough estimates and grossly depend on the size and infrastructure of the organization.

  • Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ) – $70 – $150
  • Validating scope and level of PCI – $100 – $300
  • Acquire ROC – $400 – $900
  • Architecture evaluation for network, protocols, and security policies – $100 – $15,000
  • Vulnerability scan – $200 – $10,000
  • Penetration testing – $400 -$20,000
  • Remediation – $500 – $70,000
  • Documentation support – $300 – $40,000
  • On-site Visit – $300 – $35,000

TechForing ensures to provide optimized and low budget PCI DSS compliance support, starting from evaluation, to acquiring the PCI compliance. We also provide support for the timely renewal of PCI by a QSA.

TechForing provides end to end guidance in helping you achieve Attestation of Compliance for Payment Card Industry from a QSA.  We have a team of qualified experts and PCIP – Payment Card Industry Professionals, constantly supporting changes required for PCI audits. Our team helps you successfully achieve your Report on Compliance – ROC.

We have successfully worked with multiple small and large organizations to gain PCI DSS compliance through our security and vulnerability evaluations. Rigorous tests are performed to ensure the organization meets the required PCI guidelines, and remediation measures are provided to abide by the PCI requirements. We help you define the scope of documents and also support in maintaining, updating, and making required amendments to these documents, as per PCI scope.

TechForing provides cost-effective solutions and manages all of your PCI compliance related activities. This includes network scans, architecture evaluation, security policy evaluations, environment isolation, documentation, and acquiring the PCI compliance report. We provide round the clock support for renewal of PCI compliance, and annual and bi-annual PCI audits.

Looking for a First-Class Business Plan Consultant?