PCI Compliance Made Simple: How Dasera Helps Protect Stored Cardholder Data and Restrict Access

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) is a critical framework for any organization handling credit card information. It mandates stringent security measures to protect cardholder data and ensure safe transactions. Among its twelve requirements, protecting stored cardholder data (Requirement 3) and restricting access (Requirement 7) is particularly crucial. Learn about PCI compliance and how Dasera can help your organization achieve these compliance goals.

Understanding PCI Compliance

PCI-DSS is designed to protect credit card data from breaches and fraud. It applies to any entity that stores, processes, or transmits cardholder information and enforces consistent data security measures. Compliance is mandatory and essential for safeguarding sensitive information and maintaining customer trust.

Common Risks

Organizations face various risks, including:

  • Credit Card Fraud: Unauthorized use of stolen credit card information for purchases. This can result from data breaches or phishing attacks where attackers gain access to card details.
  • Identity Theft: Occurs when attackers impersonate legitimate cardholders to make unauthorized purchases or access other sensitive information. This can lead to significant financial losses and damage to the victim's credit history.
  • Credit Card Hijacking: Involves redirecting customers to fake websites or compromised shopping carts to steal card details. It often involves tactics like phishing, malicious redirects, or compromised websites.
  • Data Breaches: Unauthorized access to cardholder data stored in your systems. This can occur through vulnerabilities in your network, unpatched software, or insider threats.
  • Skimming: Physical devices placed on card readers to capture card information during transactions. This is common in ATMs and point-of-sale (POS) terminals.

Consequences of Non-Compliance

Failing to comply with PCI-DSS can lead to severe penalties and repercussions, including:

  • Inability to Accept Credit Card Payments: Non-compliance can result in losing the ability to process credit card transactions, leading to significant financial losses and damage to your business reputation.
  • Fines: Regulatory fines can range from $5,000 to $100,000 monthly until compliance is achieved. The actual amount depends on the severity and duration of the non-compliance.
  • Mandatory Forensic Examination: In the event of a data breach, organizations must undergo a forensic examination to determine the extent of the breach. This can be costly and time-consuming, with expenses ranging from $20,000 to over $120,000, depending on the scale of your operations.
  • Liability for Fraud Charges: Organizations can be held liable for fraudulent charges resulting from a breach. This can lead to lawsuits, compensation claims, and significant financial losses.
  • Reputational Damage: A data breach or non-compliance incident can severely damage your organization's reputation, leading to loss of customer trust and long-term business impact.
  • Increased Insurance Premiums: Non-compliance and data breaches can lead to higher cybersecurity insurance premiums as insurers adjust rates based on your risk profile.
  • Operational Disruptions: Addressing non-compliance issues and responding to data breaches can divert resources and attention from your core business operations, causing disruptions and productivity losses.

The 12 Requirements for PCI DSS Compliance

PCI DSS is divided into six goals and twelve requirements, each focusing on a specific aspect of information security:

  1. Use and Maintain Firewalls: Firewalls monitor and control network traffic to protect your internal network from unauthorized access.
  2. Proper Password Protections: Implement robust password policies, including complex passwords and regular changes, to protect sensitive information.
  3. Protect Cardholder Data: Minimize stored cardholder data, securely dispose of it when no longer needed, and implement access control measures.
  4. Encryption of Transmitted Cardholder Data: Use strong encryption to protect cardholder data during transmission over open networks.
  5. Utilize Antivirus and Anti-malware Software: Keep antivirus and anti-malware software updated to protect against malicious threats.
  6. Properly Updated Software: Regularly update software to patch security vulnerabilities and protect cardholder data.
  7. Restrict Data Access: Limit access to cardholder data to individuals who need it for their job.
  8. Unique IDs Assigned to Those with Access to Data: Assign unique IDs to individuals accessing cardholder data to track and monitor access.
  9. Restrict Physical Access: Implement physical security measures to prevent unauthorized access to data and systems.
  10. Create and Monitor Access Logs: Regularly review access logs to identify and respond to security incidents.
  11. Test Security Systems Regularly: Test security systems and processes to identify vulnerabilities.
  12. Document Policies: Document security policies and procedures to ensure everyone understands their responsibilities.

Enhancing PCI DSS Compliance with Dasera: A Focus on Protecting Stored Cardholder Data and Restricting Access

Ensuring cardholder data security is paramount for any organization handling sensitive payment information. The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) outlines comprehensive requirements to safeguard cardholder data. Requirements 3 (Protect Stored Cardholder Data) and 7 (Restrict Access to Cardholder Data by Business Need to Know) are critical for maintaining a robust security posture. This blog post delves into how Dasera, a leader in data security solutions, helps organizations achieve compliance with these specific requirements.

PCI DSS Requirement 3: Protect Stored Cardholder Data

The Challenge:

PCI DSS Requirement 3 mandates organizations to protect stored cardholder data using encryption, passwords, and physical security measures. This includes restricting access to only those personnel who need it for their job duties and regularly monitoring and testing the security of systems storing, processing, or transmitting cardholder data.

How Dasera Helps:

  1. Data Discovery and Classification:
    • Dasera’s advanced data discovery capabilities automatically identify and classify cardholder data across your entire environment. Organizations can apply appropriate security measures to protect data by pinpointing where sensitive data resides.
  2. Encryption Verification:
    • Ensuring that cardholder data is encrypted at rest and in transit. Dasera continuously monitors data repositories to verify that encryption standards are being met, providing alerts if any unencrypted data is detected.
  3. Access Monitoring and Alerts:
    • Dasera tracks access to cardholder data, generating real-time alerts for any unauthorized or suspicious access attempts. This continuous monitoring ensures that only authorized personnel can access sensitive data, which aligns with PCI DSS guidelines.
  4. Compliance Reporting:
    • Dasera generates detailed compliance reports that demonstrate adherence to PCI DSS Requirement 3. These reports can be used in audits to show that appropriate measures are in place to protect stored cardholder data.

PCI DSS Requirement 7: Restrict Access to Cardholder Data by Business Need to Know

The Challenge:

PCI DSS Requirement 7 emphasizes restricting access to cardholder data based on business needs. Organizations must ensure that access is granted only to individuals who require it to perform their job duties, following the principle of least privilege.

How Dasera Helps:

  1. Role-Based Access Controls:
    • Dasera integrates with existing identity and access management (IAM) systems to enforce role-based access controls (RBAC). This ensures that access to cardholder data is restricted to personnel who need it for their specific job functions.
  2. Automated Access Reviews:
    • Regular reviews of access rights are essential for maintaining compliance. Dasera automates this process by providing periodic access reviews, ensuring that permissions are up-to-date and reflect current job responsibilities.
  3. Detailed Access Logs:
    • Comprehensive logging of access events is crucial for auditing purposes. Dasera maintains detailed logs of all access to cardholder data, providing a clear audit trail that can be reviewed to ensure compliance with PCI DSS Requirement 7.
  4. Anomaly Detection:
    • Dasera’s advanced analytics detect anomalies in access patterns, such as unusual access times or attempts to access data by unauthorized personnel. These anomalies trigger alerts, allowing for swift investigation and remediation.

Achieving and maintaining PCI DSS compliance is a complex but necessary endeavor for organizations handling cardholder data. Dasera simplifies this process by providing robust solutions that address key requirements, such as protecting stored cardholder data and restricting access based on business needs. By leveraging Dasera, organizations can enhance their data security posture, ensure regulatory compliance, and ultimately protect their customers' trust.

For more information on how Dasera can help your organization with PCI DSS compliance, visit our website or contact our team of experts today.


David Mundy