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PCIP3-0 techniques - Payment Card Industry Professional Updated: 2023

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Exam Code: PCIP3-0 Payment Card Industry Professional techniques November 2023 by Killexams.com team

PCIP3-0 Payment Card Industry Professional

The qualification test is administered at a Pearson VUE Test Center. You will have 90 minutes to complete 75 multiple-choice questions. No electronic devices may be used during the closed-book exam.

All scheduling/rescheduling is done via Pearson VUEs online scheduling system – you select the test location, date and time most convenient for you.

You will receive an email containing Instructions and a voucher to schedule your test within 2-3 business days of payment processing.

If you choose the Exam-only or instructor-led class option, the test must be completed within a 30 day test window.
If you choose the eLearning Course, the test must be completed within a 90 days test window.
Exam Results and Next Steps

Pass/Fail results are provided immediately following the conclusion of your exam.

Passing candidates will receive a Certificate of Qualification via email within 2-3 business days.

If a passing score is not achieved, a total of three (3) attempts are permitted (a retake fee will apply).

The Payment Card Industry Professional is an individual, entry-level qualification in payment security information and provides you with the tools to help your organization build a secure payment environment. Becoming a PCIP demonstrates a level of understanding that can provide a strong foundation for a career in the payments security industry. This renewable career qualification is not affected by changes in employment assignments and stays in effect as long as the individual continues to meet requirements. This three-year credential also provides a great foundation for other PCI qualifications.

- Support your organizations or clients ongoing security and compliance efforts through your knowledge of how to apply PCI Standards

- Gain recognition of your professional achievement with this renewable three-year industry credential

- Become part of a PCIP community where knowledge and best practices can be shared

- Launch your career in the payments industry with a competitive advantage

- Listing in a searchable directory on the PCI website

- Earn Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits

This course outlines the PCI Standards and provides you with the tools to build a secure payments environment and help your organization achieve PCI compliance. Course highlights include:

- Principles of PCI DSS, PA-DSS, PCI PTS, and PCI P2PE Standards

- Understanding of PCI DSS requirements and intent

- Overview of basic payment industry terminology

- Understanding the transaction flow

- Implementing a risk-based prioritized approach

- Appropriate uses of compensating controls

- Working with third-parties and service providers

- How and when to use Self-Assessment Questionnaires (SAQs)

- Recognizing how new technologies affect the PCI (e.g. virtualization, tokenization, mobile, cloud)

Payment Card Industry Professional
PCI-Security Professional techniques

Other PCI-Security exams

PCIP3-0 Payment Card Industry Professional

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Payment Card Industry Professional
Question: 78
Existing PCI DSS requirements may be combined with new controls to become a compensating
A. False
B. True
Answer: B
Question: 79
The use of two-factor authentication is NOT a requirement on PCI DSS v3 for remote network
access originating from outside the network by personnel and all third parties.
A. False
B. True
Answer: A
Question: 80
For initial PCI DSS compliance, its not required that four quarters of passing scans must be
completed if the assessor verifies that 1) the most accurate scan result was a passing scan, 2) the
entity has documented policies and procedures requiring quarterly scanning, and 3)
vulnerabilities noted in the scan results have been corrected as shown in a re-scan(s).
A. False
B. True
Answer: B
Question: 81
Imprint-Only Merchants with no electronic storage of cardholder data may be eligible to use
which SAQ?
Answer: C
Question: 82
To whom is Self-Assessment Question No: naire (SAQ) A intended for?
A. Card-not-present Merchants, All Cardholder Data Functions Fully Outsourced
B. Merchants with Web-Based Virtual Payment TerminalsNo Electronic Cardholder Data
C. Merchants with Only Imprint Machines or Only Standalone, Dial-out Terminals No
Electronic Cardholder Data Storage Merchants with Only Imprint Machines or Only Standalone,
Dial-out Terminals No Electronic Cardholder Data Storage Merchants with Only Imprint
Machines or Only Standalone, Dial-out Terminals No Electronic Cardholder Data Storage
Merchants with Only Imprint Machines or Only Standalone, Dial-out Terminals No
Electronic Cardholder Data Storage Merchants with Only Imprint Machines or Only Standalone,
Dial-Out Terminals - No Electronic Cardholder Data Storage
D. Merchants with Payment Application Systems Connected to the InternetNo Electronic
Cardholder Data Storage Merchants with Payment Application Systems Connected to the
Internet No Electronic Cardholder Data Storage Merchants with Payment Application
Systems Connected to the InternetNo Electronic Cardholder Data Storage Merchants with
Payment Application Systems Connected to the InternetNo Electronic Cardholder Data
Storage Merchants with Payment Application Systems Connected to the Internet - No Electronic
Cardholder Data Storage
Answer: A
Question: 83
Users passwords/passphrases should be changed on a minimal of what interval to meet
Requirement 8.2.4?
A. 30 days
B. 60 days
C. 90 days
D. 180 days
Answer: C
Question: 84
Which statement is true regarding sensitive authentication data?
A. Sensitive data is required for recurring transactions
B. Sensitive authentication data includes PAN and service code
C. Sensitive authentication exists in the magnetic strip or chip, and is also printed on the
payment card
D. Encrypt sensitive authentication data removes it from PC DSS scope
Answer: C
Question: 85
Which of the following lists the correct order for the flow of a payment card transaction?
A. Clearing, Settlement, Authorization
B. Clearing, Authorization, Settlement
C. Authorization, Settlement, Clearing
D. Authorization, Clearing, Settlement
Answer: D
Question: 86
Passwords/Passphrases should not be allowed if the same of the last used
passwords/passphrases. (Requirement 8.2.5)
A. 6
B. 2
C. 4
D. 1
Answer: C
Question: 87
Which of the below functions is associated with Acquirers?
A. Provide clearing services to a merchant
B. Provide authorization services to a merchant
C. Provide settlement services to a merchant
D. All of the options
Answer: D
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PCI-Security Professional techniques - BingNews https://killexams.com/pass4sure/exam-detail/PCIP3-0 Search results PCI-Security Professional techniques - BingNews https://killexams.com/pass4sure/exam-detail/PCIP3-0 https://killexams.com/exam_list/PCI-Security What Is PCI Compliance?

The payment card industry (PCI) comprises all companies involved with credit and debit card transactions. For commerce and retail — and any institutions that issue any type of credit, debit or prepaid card — complying with PCI regulations is essential. Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) rules apply to every business that accepts these forms of payment. 

Even if your business employs only a few people and conducts one credit card transaction per month, your company must be PCI DSS compliant. Knowing what PCI compliance entails is central to your financial security and customer loyalty. Read ahead for a guide on PCI compliance and for answers to merchants’ most commonly asked questions about compliance for small businesses.

What is PCI compliance?

PCI compliance encompasses following the requirements set forth by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC), the organization that sets all PCI regulations. Merchants must comply with these standards no matter how many credit card transactions they conduct.

However, this may be easier said than done. The Verizon 2023 Payment Security Report found that only 43 percent of companies maintain a sustainably compliant security environment. Those found not in compliance may be subject to hefty fines.

Editor’s note: Looking for the right credit card processing service for your business? Fill out the below questionnaire to have our vendor partners contact you about your needs.

Every company that accepts credit and debit cards is required to follow PCI DSS, no matter its size (although the PCI SSC does provide help for small businesses). However, there are four levels of compliance. These levels determine the actions the organization must take to be compliant; the more transactions, the more actions necessary. These are the four levels and their requirements. 

  • Level 1: Any merchant, regardless of the acceptance channel, that processes over six million Visa transactions per year and any merchant that Visa, at its sole discretion, determines should meet the Level 1 merchant requirements to minimize risk to the Visa system.
  • Level 2: Any merchant, regardless of the acceptance channel, that processes one million to six million Visa transactions per year.
  • Level 3: Any merchant that processes 20,000 to one million Visa e-commerce transactions per year.
  • Level 4: Any merchant that processes fewer than 20,000 Visa e-commerce transactions per year, and all other merchants, regardless of the acceptance channel, that process up to one million Visa transactions per year.

12 requirements for PCI DSS

There are 12 requirements to meeting the PCI DSS:

  1. Install and maintain a firewall configuration to protect cardholder data.
  2. Do not use vendor-supplied defaults for system passwords and other security parameters.
  3. Protect stored cardholder data.
  4. Encrypt transmission of cardholder data across open, public networks.
  5. Protect all systems against malware and regularly update antivirus software or programs.
  6. Develop and maintain secure systems and applications.
  7. Restrict access to cardholder data on a business need-to-know basis.
  8. Identify and assign a unique ID to all personnel with computer access.
  9. Restrict physical access to cardholder data.
  10. Track and monitor all access to network resources and cardholder data.
  11. Regularly test security systems and processes.
  12. Maintain a policy that addresses information security for employees and contractors.

Why PCI compliance matters

Many high-profile data breaches have occurred through stolen credit and debit card information in the retail and service industries, so consumers want to know that they are doing business safely. PCI compliance doesn’t ensure a data breach won’t happen, but it adds safeguards. [Read related article: Hackers Attack These Types of Accounts the Most]

If your business is found to be noncompliant, you could face fees of $5,000 to $100,000 per month. If noncompliance persists, your business could be stripped of payment processing services.

PCI DSS compliance can help your business protect consumer data and help you avoid hefty, punishing fines resulting from noncompliance.

How to stay PCI compliant

PCI compliance is nonnegotiable if you accept credit and debit cards, but preparing for a PCI audit and ensuring that your company meets credit card compliance standards can be daunting.

Jeff VanSickel, VP CyberGRC manager at The Bancorp, provided a few tips for preparing for a PCI assessment and keeping your standards at secure levels at all times:

  1. Identify all business and client data. This includes any cardholder data, its sensitivity and its criticality. Correctly defining the scope of assessment is probably the most difficult and important part of any PCI compliance program, VanSickel said. An overly narrow scope can jeopardize cardholder data, while an overly broad scope can add immense and unnecessary cost and effort to a PCI compliance program.
  2. Understand the boundaries of the cardholder data environment. Monitor all of the data that flows into and out of it. Any system that connects to the cardholder data environment is within the scope of compliance and, therefore, must meet PCI requirements. The cardholder data environment includes all processes, technology, and people who store, process, or transmit customer cardholder data or authentication data. It also encompasses all connected system components and any virtualization components, like servers.
  3. Establish operating controls. This measure is necessary to protect the confidentiality and integrity of any cardholder data. Cardholder data should be protected wherever it is imported, processed, stored and transmitted. It must also be properly disposed of at the end of its life span. “Backups must also preserve the confidentiality and integrity of cardholder data,” VanSickel said. “Additionally, all media must be properly disposed of to ensure the continued confidentiality of the data. Be sure to include not only the hard disks used by company-owned computer systems but also leased systems and the storage included in modern copy machines and printers.”
  4. Have an incident response plan in place. When a security incident occurs, have a plan to return to secure operations as quickly as possible. This plan should define roles, responsibilities, communication requirements and contact strategies in the event data is compromised, including notification of the payment brands, legal counsel and public relations. “Ideally, companies should have a certified forensics specialist on retainer who can gather evidence and testify as an expert witness if necessary,” VanSickel said.
  5. Explain and enforce security procedures. You can never be sure that employees understand security practices and behaviors that can put your business at risk. It is up to you to make sure everyone in the company, including IT specialists and upper management, is educated on PCI compliance procedures.

PCI compliance involves properly tracking the right data and having an incident response plan in place, including security procedures to follow in the event of a breach.

PCI compliance FAQs

PCI compliance — or, more officially, Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliance — is adherence to a set of standards established by the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards Council. This coalition was formed by the major credit card companies (Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover) and the Japan Credit Bureau in 2006. Businesses that accept any amount of credit card payments may be fined if they don’t follow these standards.

The data that falls under PCI compliance encompasses what’s called “cardholder data,” which may include the following information:

  • Account numbers, also known as primary account numbers (PANs), which need to be encrypted
  • Sensitive authentication data used to authenticate cardholders
  • Tracked data contained in the stripe or chip
  • Debit card PINs
  • CVVs for credit and debit cards

You should routinely review your PCI compliance practices to ensure you’re meeting all requirements. Do this on at least a quarterly basis, perhaps with the help of professional PCI compliance auditors. After that, address any vulnerabilities you find.

While PCI compliance is a requirement for all companies processing credit card transactions, technically, it’s not mandated by federal law. The PCI DSS instead establishes and enforces compliance requirements. However, some states, such as Minnesota and Nevada, have enacted statutes mandating PCI compliance. Nevertheless, the PCI DSS is a powerful entity — it comprises all major credit card bands — so its rules are worth following.

For taking credit cards by phone, the following protocol should be observed:

  • Make sure you are using a secure network to accept PANs and other sensitive information.
  • Ensure your phone system is PCI compliant.
  • Use landlines whenever possible, as smartphones can present more security risks.
  • If your business records phone calls, ensure that credit card information is redacted in the recording.
  • Never write down the card information being relayed over the phone.
  • Ensure all employees are trained on your PCI compliance procedures.

Credit card companies can levy fees of several thousand dollars per month or more, without regard for the size of your business. These fees can be devastating for small businesses, which makes compliance essential. [Get tips on how to negotiate lower credit card fees for your company]

You may experience nonfinancial penalties as well. For example, card issuers may choose to stop working with your business, which leaves you with fewer payment options to provide customers. Or you may face a public relations nightmare as more people learn about a security breach and are afraid to give your company their sensitive information. You may also be subject to federal auditing or legal action.

Your business can obtain PCI certification after a comprehensive PCI DSS audit. A qualified security assessor performs this audit, and the process can take months. While PCI certification is not required for your business to be PCI compliant, you may choose to undergo PCI certification to build trust with your customers.

The moment your customer hands over a credit or debit card, you become responsible for keeping the data associated with that card secure. While the above steps are primarily meant to prepare you for a PCI audit, they will also provide a safety net in between assessments.

PCI compliance keeps your business secure

If you run a business and plan to accept credit card payments, you should be familiar with PCI compliance requirements. Taking steps to comply with these standards and protect credit card information is key to avoiding large fines — but that’s not all. It’s also essential for your financial security, as well as your customers.’ 

Natalie Hamingson and Stella Morrison contributed to this article. Source interviews were conducted for a previous version of this article.

Mon, 23 Oct 2023 11:59:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/6102-accepting-credit-cards-pci-compliance-tips.html
What is PCI compliance? Everything you need to know

Editorial Note: Blueprint may earn a commission from affiliate partner links featured here on our site. This commission does not influence our editors' opinions or evaluations. Please view our full advertiser disclosure policy.

Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance follows certain requirements launched in 2006 that are designed to ensure the safety and security of credit card data. Credit card processors mandate all companies that accept credit card payments to adhere to these requirements.

What is PCI DSS compliance?

Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) compliance ensures companies adhere to a set of 12 requirements developed by the PCI Security Standards Council. This essentially forms the backbone of a company’s data security policy, ensuring customer data is processed, stored and transmitted securely.

12 PCI DSS requirements in 2023

Companies must follow these 12 PCI DSS compliance requirements as set out by the PCI Security Standards Council:

  1. Firewalls: Implement network security like a firewall to protect data from external attack.
  2. Password configuration: Ensure all components of the system are appropriately protected with secure passwords and two-factor authentication, and that vendor-supplied default passwords and configurations are removed and/or replaced. 
  3. Data storage: Store all cardholder data securely, with protocols for storing, disposing and not capturing specific categories of data.
  4. Data transmission: Protect cardholder data when transmitting over open, public networks using strong encryption. 
  5. Antivirus software: Install reputable antivirus software and keep it regularly updated to protect your network from malware, phishing and other threats.
  6. System maintenance: Develop processes to ensure your network and systems are secure, as well as protocols for detecting and acting on vulnerabilities and breaches.
  7. Restrict systems access: Assign access to system and cardholder data on a need-to-know premise, and define access requirements by role.
  8. User IDs: Authenticate user access and assign all users who have access to data with unique IDs. 
  9. Physical access: Install security measures like cameras and keycodes to monitor and restrict access to physical cardholder data.
  10. Access logging: Log, track and monitor all access to system data and components.
  11. Regular testing: Ensure all aspects of network security are tested on a regular basis, with scans, inventory and monitoring. 
  12. Implement policies: Create and implement data security and policies, and run programs to explain responsibility among personnel. 

How to be PCI DSS compliant? 

To ensure a business achieves and maintains compliance with PCI Data Security Standards, it must:

  • Adhere to PCI requirements: Meet all the above 12 requirements as set out by the PCI Security Standards Council.
  • Assess systems: Run a thorough examination of the business’s security protocols and systems to find and resolve any vulnerabilities. This also includes hiring a third-party service to test the security of the network used to process payments if required. 

Use the table below to see which PCI DSS Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ) is right for your business:

What should I ask my payment processor?

When looking for a payment processor, remember to ask the following questions to ensure you’re working with a trustworthy and compliant provider:

  1. Are they PCI compliant? Ask to see their PCI DSS Attestation of Compliance and check if they’re listed on MasterCard or Visa’s individual registries. 
  2. How do they protect data and prevent fraud? Ask about their data security protocols and processes, and ensure their answers are as specific as possible, with robust measures in place. How is data stored? Is it local, and if so, is it compliant with PCI DSS protocol? Is data encrypted before being transmitted?
  3. Will they protect you during a breach? In the event of a security or data breach, will they offer any protection? Are they insured against breaches, and will they take responsibility if they’re at fault?
  4. When will they be available? A payment processor’s customer service and support options are crucial when it comes to resolving issues, so ensure you know when they’re reachable and by what channels.

We’ve included a handy PCI compliance checklist you can obtain as a PDF file and reference whenever you need.

PCI Compliance Checklist

Use our checklist to ensure your business maintains compliance with PCI Data Security Standards:

✅ Determine your PCI level: Determine which PCI level your business is at with regard to the number of transactions it makes a year, using the requirements of each credit card issuer you will accept payments from.

✅ Organise and manage a secure network of user data: Use network security controls like firewalls to protect your data, and ensure all systems are protected with strong passwords and authentication processes.

✅ Protect all cardholder data: Protect all cardholder data while stored as well as transmitted via open public networks.

✅ Manage data vulnerability: Install and keep antivirus software up to date, with regular maintenance of network security vulnerabilities. 

✅ Control and restrict access to data: Restrict both virtual and physical access to data, and ensure all users with access are authenticated with unique ID.

✅ Monitor and test network security: Ensure all access to data and systems is monitored and logged, and test data security regularity.

✅ Maintain consistency with regards to data security: Create and enact specific data security policies to maintain consistency and assist in appropriate responses to events and situations. 

✅ Question your provider: Ask your credit card processor about their compliance and adherence to data security requirements.

Benefits and disadvantages of being PCI compliant

Here are the benefits of ensuring your payment processor is PCI compliant, and why they outweigh any possible drawbacks:

Should my credit card processor be compliant?

In short, yes, you should ensure your credit card processor is fully compliant with PCI Data Security Standards. There were 1,802 data compromises in the USA in 2022, affecting 422 million individuals in the country — only beaten by the 1,862 in the previous year and much higher than the 1,108 in 2020. With so many businesses adopting online payment processors, ensuring your customers’ data is protected is vital.

Penalties for noncompliance can cost thousands per month, not to mention the potential cost of lawsuits brought against merchants and businesses. There are also investigations that may need to be conducted, and the cost of business lost as a result of a damaged reputation.

PCI compliant service providers

Through expert analysis, we’ve chosen the top five credit card processors, all of which are PCI compliant — see our table below:

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

PCI compliance is not legally required in the U.S., but merchants and processors will likely find themselves fined by credit card companies for being noncompliant. If a merchant continues to be noncompliant, they could lose the ability to process transactions altogether.

For smaller businesses, PCI compliance costs typically start at a few hundred dollars a year, mostly encompassing SAQs, scanning and testing, staff training and potentially more for software and hardware. Larger businesses that require on-site audits can expect to pay tens of thousands of dollars due to the scale of operations that require assessment and action.

Businesses and merchants will have a level based on the number of transactions they process annually and the credit card provider. 

Visa and Mastercard use the same levels:

American Express uses a slightly different structure:

PCI compliance is enforced by the PCI SSC Council’s founding members, American Express, Discover, JCB, Mastercard and Visa.

Blueprint is an independent publisher and comparison service, not an investment advisor. The information provided is for educational purposes only and we encourage you to seek personalized advice from qualified professionals regarding specific financial decisions. Past performance is not indicative of future results.

Blueprint has an advertiser disclosure policy. The opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Blueprint editorial staff alone. Blueprint adheres to strict editorial integrity standards. The information is accurate as of the publish date, but always check the provider’s website for the most current information.

Mehdi is a writer and editor with many years of personal finance expertise under his belt. He's a spirited money-saver, with a passion for making personal finance accessible and manageable. When he isn't writing, Mehdi likes to read about history and travel, hike along coastlines and in forests, and watch his beloved team Manchester United underperform.

Bryce Colburn is a USA TODAY Blueprint small business editor with a history of helping startups and small firms nationwide grow their business. He has worked as a freelance writer, digital marketing professional and business-to-business (B2B) editor at U.S. News and World Report, gaining a strong understanding of the challenges businesses face. Bryce is enthusiastic about helping businesses make the best decisions for their company and specializes in reviewing business software and services. His expertise includes subjects such as credit card processing companies, payroll software, company formation services and virtual private networks (VPNs).

Tue, 24 Oct 2023 01:56:00 -0500 en-US text/html https://www.usatoday.com/money/blueprint/business/credit-card-processing/pci-compliance/
PCI DSS Requirements

What is PCI DSS?

The Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) was launched on September 7, 2006, to manage the ongoing evolution of the Payment Card Industry (PCI) security standards with a focus on improving payment account security throughout the transaction process.

The major credit card companies (VISA, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express) came together and published a uniform set of data security standards that serve those who work with payment cards. This includes: merchants of all sizes, financial institutions, point-of-sale vendors, and hardware and software developers who create and operate the global infrastructure for processing payments.

Wed, 16 Feb 2022 10:55:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.rit.edu/security/pci-dss-requirements
Payment Card Security (PCI DSS)


All Northwestern University departments that accept credit/debit card payments are considered merchant locations and must process those payments in a secure manner.  It is the responsibility of each merchant location to maintain compliance with the NU Merchant Card Processing Policy and the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) established by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC).

Treasury Operations is a central e-commerce administrator and compliance resource for Northwestern University merchant locations.  All Northwestern University merchant locations must participate in Northwestern University’s PCI training program and compliance initiatives.  Failure to fully participate may result in the merchant account being revoked.

Northwestern’s PCI DSS Compliance Program addresses requirements of the PCI SSC, including:

  1. Security Awareness Education (required PCI DSS Security Training and Attestation)
  2. Third Party Service Provider (TPSP) engagement
  3. System Vulnerability Scans
  4. System Penetration Testing
  5. Periodic Reviews and Audits
  6. Annual PCI SAQ (Self-Assessment Questionnaire)

(1) PCI DSS Security Training and Attestation

Per PCI DSS requirement 12.6, Northwestern University requires all Northwestern merchant location personnel interacting with the Cardholder Data Environment (CDE) in any manner (from the initial entry to the final reconciliation) to complete an annual training and attestation.  This mandatory requirement includes student employees, contractors and volunteers.

Employees and those with myHR access should complete training in myHR: (PCI DSS: Payment Card Data Security).

Volunteers and those without myHR access should complete this training at: https://sites.northwestern.edu/pcidss/

  • Individuals who have not completed training and attestation are not permitted to process Cardholder Data (CHD) on behalf of Northwestern University interests.  Merchant locations using untrained or unattested individuals to process CHD may have their merchant account revoked.

Merchant location personnel should also read and understand the Northwestern PCI DSS Compliance Policy.

Treasury Operations may require individual or group participation in additional PCI security awareness education training as needed.

(2) Third Party Service Provider (TPSP) engagement

NU Merchant locations or their representatives, including vendors and other TPSPs, may not enter into legally binding agreements with TPSPs processing or handling any type of CHD (Cardholder Data), or interacting in any other way with the CDE (Cardholder Data Environment) without proper NU vetting and approval first; including but not limited to Treasury Operations, NU IT Security and Compliance, NU Office of General Counsel and NU Purchasing.  All agreements with TPSPs must have specific PCI DSS and liability shift language included.

(3) System Vulnerability Scans

Merchants with non-P2PE, on-campus payment systems connected to the Internet are required to run vulnerability scans against their systems. Northwestern University’s contract with Trustwave includes external vulnerability scans that are scheduled on the TrustKeeper Portal; scan reports are posted on the TrustKeeper Portal as well. It is the responsibility of the Merchant to review the scans and address any vulnerabilities that have been identified. Failure to address identified vulnerabilities can result in the Merchant location, as well as the entire University, falling out of compliance. Merchants with PCI-validated P2PE payment systems are not required to run scans.

(4) System Penetration Testing

Northwestern University is now a PCI Level 3 Merchant based upon accurate card processing metrics, and NU Merchants with non-P2PE, on-campus payment systems connected to the Internet are now required to have internally conducted penetration testing performed at least quarterly. Since this service is not currently a part of our Trustwave contract, arrangements need to be made by e-Commerce Operations and NU IT Security and Compliance, coordinated with Merchant onsite Administrators and IT staff. Failure to cooperate with this mandatory requirement may result in your Merchant account being revoked. Merchants with PCI-validated P2PE payment systems are not required to run penetration tests.

(5) Periodic Reviews and Audits

Treasury Operations and Northwestern’s PCI DSS partners or consultants may perform periodic reviews or audits of merchant location operations to ensure that merchants comply with PCI DSS and the University's risk is reduced.  Failure to cooperate with such activities may result in merchant account usage being revoked.

Merchant locations should also routinely review their procedures and equipment, including physically inspecting card processing equipment to ensure devices have not been substituted or tampered. This Merchant Location Device Inspection Checklist can be used for your inspections.

Please contact ccard@northwestern.edu with questions or to request assistance.

(6) Annual PCI SAQ (Self- Assessment Questionnaire)

All Northwestern University merchant locations are required to validate PCI-DSS compliance at least annually by completing the appropriate SAQ in a timely manner. A questionnaire must be completed for each Merchant account, and a new questionnaire must be filled out whenever any of the following have occurred:

  • - payment processing system changes
  • - a year has elapsed since your last SAQ
  • - upon Treasury Operations request

The SAQ should be completed through the TrustKeeper Portal which is available in the CardConnect CardPointe gateway.

There are 8 types of SAQ. Treasury Operations or Arrow Payments can help determine which type is required for your merchant location environment:

SAQ Type           Type of Payment System
SAQ A Card-not-present merchants (e-commerce or mail/telephone-order) that have fully outsourced all cardholder data functions to PCI DSS compliant third-party service providers, with no electronic storage, processing, or transmission of any cardholder data on the merchant’s systems or premises. Not applicable to face-to-face channels.
SAQ A-EP Card Not Present, E-commerce merchants who outsource all payment processing to PCI DSS validated third parties, and who have a website(s) that doesn’t directly receive cardholder data but that can impact the security of the payment transaction. No electronic storage, processing, or transmission of any cardholder data on the merchant’s systems or premises. Applicable only to e-commerce channels
SAQ B Merchants using only Imprint machines with no electronic cardholder data storage and/or Standalone, dial-out terminals with no electronic cardholder data storage. Not applicable to e-commerce channels.
SAQ B-IP Merchants using only standalone, PTS-approved payment terminals with an IP connection to the payment processor, with no electronic cardholder data storage. Not applicable to e-commerce channels.
SAQ C Merchants with payment application systems connected to the Internet, no electronic cardholder data storage. Not applicable to e-commerce channels.
SAQ C-VT Merchants who manually enter a single transaction at a time via a keyboard into an Internet-based Virtual Terminal solution that is provided and hosted by a PCI DSS validated third-party service provider. No electronic cardholder data storage. Not applicable to e-commerce channels.
SAQ D All other SAQ-Eligible Merchants
SAQ P2PE-HW Merchants using only hardware payment terminals that are included in and managed via a validated, PCI SSC-listed P2PE solution, with no electronic cardholder data storage. Not applicable to e-commerce channels.


Thu, 03 Feb 2022 04:55:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.northwestern.edu/controller/treasury-operations/e-commerce-operations/credit-card-security-pci-dss/
Payment Card Industry (PCI) Compliance Policy

This policy provides guidance about the importance of protecting payment card data and customer information. Failure to protect this information may result in financial loss for customers, suspension of credit card processing privileges, fines, and damage to the reputation of the unit and the university.

The University at Buffalo (UB, university) is committed to compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) to protect payment card data regardless of where that data is processed or stored. All members of the university community must adhere to these standards to protect our customers and maintain the ability to process payments using payment cards.

The university prohibits the retention of complete payment card primary account numbers (PAN) or sensitive authentication data in any university system, database, network, computer, tablet, cell phone, or paper file. Storing truncated numbers, in approved formats (first six digits or last four digits) is permissible.

The Credit Card Handling Chart details the acceptable use of payment card data and security requirements. The PCI DSS requirements do not supersede local, state, and federal laws or regulations.

The university is required to comply with all relevant standards. However, not all of the PCI DSS requirements are relevant to UB. Certain university policies reduce the compliance scope, including prohibiting electronic storage of payment card information, restricting transmission through fax and email, and utilizing third-party vendors for web-based payment card processing rather than university networks. 

The PCI DSS is a mandated set of requirements agreed upon by the major credit card companies. The security requirements apply to all transactions surrounding the payment card industry and the merchants or organizations that accept these cards as a form of payment.

The university must comply with the PCI DSS in order to accept card payments and avoid penalties. This policy and additional supporting policies:

  • Provide the requirements for processing, transmission, storage, and disposal of cardholder data transactions
  • Reduce the institutional risk associated with the administration of payment cards
  • Promote proper internal control
  • Promote compliance with the PCI DSS

This policy applies to those involved with payment card handling including faculty, staff, students, third-party vendors, individuals, systems, networks, and other parties with a relationship to the university including auxiliary service corporations, alumni associations, student associations and governments, Research Foundation (RF), UB Foundation (UBF) and any unit using third-party software to process payment card transactions. This includes transmission, storage, and processing of payment card data, in any form (electronic or paper) on behalf of UB.


Individual who owns and benefits from the use of a membership card, particularly a payment card.

Cardholder Data (CHD)

Elements of payment card information that must be protected, including primary account number (PAN), cardholder name, expiration date, and the service code.

Cardholder Name

The name of the individual to whom the card is issued.

Expiration Date

The date on which a card expires and is no longer valid. The expiration date is embossed, encoded, or printed on the card.

Service Code

Permits where the card is used and for what.


CHD must be disposed of in a certain manner that renders all data un-recoverable. This includes paper documents and any electronic media including computers, hard drives, magnetic tapes, and USB storage devices in accordance with the Record Retention and Disposition Policy. The approved PCI DSS disposal methods include cross-cut shredding, incineration, and approved shredding and disposal service.


A department or unit (including a group of departments or a subset of a department) approved to accept payment cards and assigned a merchant identification number.

Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS)

The security requirements defined by the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards Council and the major credit card brands including Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, and JCB.

PCI Compliance Committee

Group composed of representatives from Financial Management, Information Security Office, Office of the Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Internal Audit, and UB merchants.

Primary Account Number (PAN)

Number code of 14 or 16 digits embossed on a bank or credit card and encoded in the card's magnetic strip. PAN identifies the issuer of the card and the account, and includes a check digit as an authentication device.

Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ)

Validation tools to assist merchants and service providers report the results of their PCI DSS self-assessment.

Sensitive Authentication Data

Additional elements of payment card information required to be protected but never stored. These include magnetic stripe (i.e., track) data, CAV2, CVC2, CID, or CVV2 data, and PIN or PIN block.

CAV2, CVC2, CID, or CVV2 data

The three- or four-digit value printed on or to the right of the signature panel or on the face of a payment card used to verify card-not-present transactions.

Magnetic Stripe (i.e., track) data

Data encoded in the magnetic stripe or equivalent data on a chip used for authorization during a card-present transaction. Entities may not retain full magnetic-stripe data after transaction authorization.

PIN or PIN block

Personal identification number entered by the cardholder during a card-present transaction, or encrypted PIN block present within the transaction message.

Department and Unit Heads (who accept payment card payments other than through approved online methods)

Sat, 15 Aug 2020 07:02:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.buffalo.edu/administrative-services/policy1/ub-policy-lib/pci-compliance.html
PCI compliance: Is your qualified security assessor up to the task?

As organizations take steps to address the many new requirements in PCI DSS version 4.0, Verizon—the longest-operating PCI services provider—reminds CIOs and CISOs not to forget the human element and the crucially important role quality security assessors play.

In a volatile payments landscape, enterprises are preparing for the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) version 3.2.1 to expire on March 31, 2024. Taking its place will be the more robust PCI DSS version 4.0, a substantial update to the Standard designed to address the continually evolving threat landscape and changing payments systems. The new requirements are needed to help businesses prevent payment card data from being compromised or stolen. 

Created by the PCI Security Standards Council (SSC), a global entity that brings industry leaders—including American Express, Discover, JCB International, Mastercard, UnionPay and Visa—together to develop Standards that ensure the secure use of payment cards, PCI DSS v4.0 includes numerous changes that impact not only any organization that processes, transmits or stores payment card information, but also those within the larger payments ecosystem, including service providers and those that are contractually required to comply with PCI DSS. 

“Preparing for PCI DSS v4.0 should be a strategic imperative for any organization that possesses payment card data,” says Mark Stachowicz, a senior manager in Verizon Cyber Security Consulting services, which includes expert teams for security assurance, cyber defense, and the Verizon Threat Research Advisory Center, a specialized division within Verizon Consulting Services that helps enterprises mitigate threats to their networks, applications and devices. 

“Understanding the changes in the PCI DSS Standard is paramount for Qualified Security Assessors (QSAs) to do a comprehensive and effective assessment,” adds Stachowicz. “Now is the time to ask ‘Does my QSA understand the changes in the Standard and how to address them?’”

He notes that QSAs at Verizon, one of the longest-operating PCI services provider, recommend that CISOs explore several important questions, including: 

  1. Are you confident that your current QSA understands the risks in your industry?  QSAs should bring strong domain expertise to their work and be knowledgeable of the unique security threats faced in specific industries, such as e-commerce, retail and healthcare.
  2. Does your QSA provide actionable insights and recommendations, or just a compliance report? CISOs should evaluate the value they are getting from QSAs. Are they providing strategic guidance or simply providing a compliance report? An effective QSA is a partner who is able to help security and compliance teams better safeguard their systems, applications, devices and data.
  3. Has your QSA been proactive in identifying potential improvements in your payment card security? A good QSA responds with timely action and a sense of urgency that is crucially important to prevent security breaches while providing actionable insights organizations can use to harden their defenses.  

Stachowicz notes that these questions are critically important because payment card data is highly sought after by cybercriminals, a fact reflected in Verizon’s 2023 Data Breach Investigations Report. The report cites that payment card data was compromised in 37% of breaches in 2022.

“The answers to these questions are crucially important to ensure that your assessment is as strong as possible,” he adds. “A proper assessment should rarely fail to uncover additional steps an enterprise should take to gain greater peace of mind.”

Stachowicz also recommends that IT leaders read Verizon’s collection of payment security research and, in particular, the recently released PSR 2023 Payment Security Report insights white paper, which explains the value of advanced PCI program management design.

“If your QSA is simply checking off boxes, they are doing you a disservice and will not be able to address the greater level of detail PCI DSS v4.0 requires,” he adds. 

“You want an expected partner who simplifies the complexity of compliance management with an economical solution—a PCI security program that delivers effective, predictable results in an efficient manner, faster and with fewer resources.”

Security and compliance teams can find more information on Verizon’s PCI DSS assessment here.

Sun, 15 Oct 2023 12:00:00 -0500 en-US text/html https://www.cio.com/article/655797/pci-compliance-is-your-qualified-security-assessor-up-to-the-task.html
What PCI DSS 4.0 means for pen testers

The next version of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard goes into effect over the next 18 months. Because the new standard requires more documentation about methodology and means, penetration testers may find themselves under greater scrutiny from the organizations that hire them.

On the positive side, the updated standard may mean better business for pen testers. PCI DSS 4.0 widens the scope of PCI pen tests, allows pen testers more leeway in how tests are conducted and explicitly requires that follow-up pen tests be conducted to verify that vulnerabilities have been remediated.

Here's a look at what PCI DSS 4.0 means for pen testers.

What has and hasn't changed for PCI compliance testing

The overall framework of penetration testing for PCI DSS compliance stays mostly the same. PCI pen testing should take at least three approaches: an external black-box test, an internal test in which the pen tester tries to get into the cardholder data environment (CDE) from other parts of the network, and an internal test from inside the CDE itself.

Required PCI pen testing is still just once a year for most merchants, and twice yearly for service providers. More frequent pen tests are required if there is a security incident or, as the PCI DSS requirements and testing procedures state, "any significant infrastructure or application upgrade or change."

But PCI DSS 4.0 introduces stricter requirements to verify the safety of online payment pages and web-based applications. It also adds an explicit requirement that cloud service providers give pen testers access to their clients' cloud assets. We'll go over both those details, plus requirements about documentation and retention of records, below.

Hello, customized approaches

The most significant innovation in PCI DSS 4.0 is the ability for entities — i.e., any organization that must comply with PCI DSS — to choose "customized approaches" for individual requirements.

Customized approaches may seem like an expansion of the "compensating controls" loophole that previous versions of PCI DSS offered if a company couldn't quite meet the exact details of a particular requirement for technical reasons.

Compensating controls still exist in PCI DSS 4.0, but customized approaches are optional and offer something much better: A way for organizations, if capable, to meet individual PCI DSS requirements on their own terms rather than by sticking to the prescribed "defined approach." This is ideal for companies that have complex architectures or that must comply with many different regulatory frameworks.

"Unlike compensating controls, which are used when organizations have a constraint and are unable to meet the requirement as stated, the customized approach is for entities that choose to meet the requirement differently than is stated," explained Lauren Holloway of the PCI Security Standards Council in an official blog post.

A customized approach gives pen testers more flexibility in how to conduct a pen test on a particular requirement as long as everything about the customized approach, and the test, is documented down to the smallest detail.

Because PCI DSS 4.0 requires that each planned customized approach be subjected to a targeted risk analysis by March 31, 2024, it's possible that pen testers may be asked to conduct or assist with that process in the next few months.

Tougher requirments for payment pages and web apps

PCI DSS adds new requirements covering payment pages and web apps. Requirement 6.4.2, which goes into effect in 2025, mandates the use of an automated tool to detect and prevent attacks on web applications.

This replaces an older requirement (6.6 in PCI DSS 3.2.1, 6.4.1 as a one-year temporary option in PCI DSS 4.0) that web apps merely get vulnerability scans. By implication, web apps now need to be actively pen-tested.

According to Clone Systems Senior Security Engineer Tom Nianios, this puts application-program interfaces (APIs) into the scope of PCI compliance pen tests. He suggests using the Open Worldwide Application Security Project (OWASP) Top Ten framework as a guide.

"Before, APIs were kind of the secure thing that no one can compromise," says Nianios. "But now, APIs are within scope. So you need to test the web-application API, and you need to test the web application, obviously, with the OWASP standard."

There's also a brand-new requirement, 6.4.3, mandating all organizations that maintain online payment pages to manage, verify and inventory all scripts running on those pages, and to block unauthorized code or scripts.

Another new requirement (11.6.1) says that entities must implement a "mechanism," either manual or automated, to check payment-page content and HTTP headers at least weekly for evidence of tampering and unauthorized changes.

Scott Goodwin, a principal in the cybersecurity and privacy advisory at consulting firm PKF O'Connor Davies LLP, suggests that pen testers try to manipulate payment pages directly.

"Penetration testers can use tools like BurpSuite to manipulate requests to payment pages in an attempt to inject malicious code," he says, "and tools like SQLMap and SMBMap to identify and manipulate data stored in databases and on file shares, respectively."

Stronger network segmentation

PCI DSS 4.0 puts greater emphasis on network segmentation. It clarifies in requirement 11.4.5 (replacing requirement 11.3.4 in PCI DSS 3.2.1) that annual pen tests be conducted "according to the entity's defined penetration-testing methodology" to, as before, confirm that the segmentation works properly to isolate "all out-of-scope systems" from the CDE. PCI DSS was less stringent in this respect, asking only that pen testers verify segmentation as part of their testing procedures.

The requirement adds a new spin: Segmentation pen-testing must also confirm the isolation of "systems with differing security levels," an aspect not present in PCI DSS 3.2.1.

That in turn references requirement 2.2.3, which mandates that "primary functions with differing security levels that exist on the same system component are isolated from each other" or "are all secured to the level required by the function with the highest security need."

This is a bit looser than PCI DSS 3.2.1 requirement 2.2.1, which mandates that primary functions with different security levels should not be on the same server at all. PCI DSS 4.0 retains that as an option but not an absolute requirement, perhaps showing a bit more faith in the ability of segmentation to properly separate components.

More access to cloud assets

Cloud assets, including web apps, and cloud-based virtual servers have always been within the scope of PCI pen tests if they held or touched the CDE. But PCI DSS 4.0 should make it easier to access those assets if they're on "public" clouds run by the likes of Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud Platform.

The new requirement 11.4.7 states that "multi-tenant service providers" — which includes cloud service providers (CSPs) — must "support their customers for external penetration testing." The multi-tenant service providers must also either show their clients documentation that a pen test has been done, or let their clients perform their own pen tests.

This was likely added because historically, some CSPs haven’t liked third-party pen testers poking around in their systems. PCI DSS 4.0 removes any doubt that CSP customers have a right to get someone to pen-test their own assets in someone else's cloud.

There are strings attached, however. Cloud systems are obviously very different from on-prem systems, even those running virtual servers, and learning to navigate them may require additional training.

"[The cloud] is a new set of skills. And it is a new set of methodologies," says Nianios. "However, it's easier [to pen test], in my opinion, because all the security controls that they had in place on-site, all these layers that they've added over the years, they don't exist over there [in the cloud]."

Pen-testing a third party's cloud assets could cause legal trouble, too. Before a pen-testing firm goes into a client's assets on a third-party public cloud, it needs to thoroughly understand the specific shared-responsibility agreement between the client and the CSP (perhaps better than the client does), and to establish exactly where the red lines marking the beginnings of CSP responsibility are.

Pen testers "really need to dig into the licensing and contractual agreements that that organization would have with the cloud provider," explains Jason Stockinger, Director of Global Information Security at Royal Caribbean Group. "For example, if you're doing infrastructure as a service, [the cloud provider] is not going to allow you to pen-test past a certain point. If you start probing that, it'll be a breach of contract."

Document everything, and get ready for a grilling

PCI DSS 4.0 requirement 11.4.1 is an update of PCI DSS 3.2.1 requirement 11.3 and clarifies that the complying entity must define, document and implement a pen-testing methodology. It's a bit less stringent in that it lets the entity figure out the methodology.

That methodology doesn't have to be a cookie-cutter version of a standard pen-testing frameworks like OWASP or the Open-Source Security Testing Methodology Manual (OSSTMM) — many pen testers mix and match parts from different methodologies — but it has to be documented and defined.

The means of pen-testing the network inside and out also needs to be documented and clarifies that the various attack vectors and vulnerabilities defined in requirements 6.2.4 and 6.3.1 must be addressed.

Pen testers will have to show that they tried to get in via "injection attacks, including SQL, LDAP, XPath" and attacks on "data and data structures", "cryptography usage," "business logic," "access control mechanisms" and so on, and that commonly known vulnerabilities are also addressed.

Requirement 11.4.4 clarifies that every vulnerability documented in the final pen-test report must be remediated, no matter how small. The means of remediation must be documented, and then a second pen test must be performed to verify those remediations. Previously, PCI DSS 3.2.1 required only that "testing is repeated to verify the corrections."

Requirement 11.4.2b and 11.4.3b are the least fun parts. They add to their PCI DSS 3.2.1 predecessors (11.3.1b and 11.3.2b) by mandating that the complying entity not only verify that a "qualified internal resource or qualified external third party" carries out the pen test, but that the entity must also interview involved personnel as part of the verification process. Likewise, requirement 11.4.5c (replacing 11.3.4c) specifies that segmentation pen-testers be interviewed.

In other words, third-party pen testers may have to sit down and be grilled about how they conducted the tests, how they got into systems, what they found, and so forth.

The requirement is vague enough so that a detailed pen-test report presented an in-person meeting with the client may qualify as an "interview" as long as the client asks questions, but it might be best to bring along some of the front-line pen-testers just in case. It definitely means that pen testers will need to document every step of the pen-testing process if they're not doing so already.

For the post-test period, PCI DSS 4.0 states in a bullet point in requirement 11.4.1 that all notes, records and reports from a PCI compliance pen test must be retained for at least 12 months. The length of the retention period wasn't specified in PCI DSS 3.2.1.

The requirement doesn't say whether the pen tester or the entity should be the one holding on to the records, but if they don't have them already, firms that carry out PCI compliance pen tests may need to build secure storage systems that can easily retrieve such documents upon demand.

Should social engineering be in scope?

Finally, a social-engineering pen test is still not part of the PCI DSS requirements, but it may be more important than ever — especially when it comes to staffers who have privileged or administrative access to the CDE.

In well-defended organizations, such employees may be a weaker point of defense than the CDE itself. But pen-testing firms might have trouble getting their clients to pay for a social-engineering pen test until the PCI SSC makes it mandatory.

"While PCI DSS 4.0 does not explicitly require social engineering as a component of penetration tests, it is still one of the most common ways organizations are initially breached," says Goodwin. "From a purely risk-based perspective, it makes sense for any organization processing cardholder data to engage in periodic adversarial social-engineering exercises."

Tue, 31 Oct 2023 12:00:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.scmagazine.com/resource/what-pci-dss-4-0-means-for-pen-testers
5 Important Things to Know Before Accepting Online Credit Card

Accepting credit card payments online is an excellent way for small businesses to streamline sales and attract customers. However, safeguarding your business and customers is critical, and so is mitigating common risks and types of fraud that proliferate online. 

We’ll explore expert tips and advice about small business credit card processing online and what business owners should understand about card-not-present payments. 

Credit card processors also facilitate other payment options to increase customer convenience, including mobile wallet payments via Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Pay.

Tips for accepting online card-not-present payments

Card-not-present payments, such as online payments and credit card payments accepted over the phone, are less secure than accepting a card physically at a retail location. Here are five tips to reduce the risks associated with these transactions.

1. Verify billing addresses.

Want to ensure the person trying to purchase something remotely is the authorized account holder? A straightforward way to check is to ask that person to verify the account’s billing address.

“For mail order or telephone order card-not-present transactions, always use address verification or [the] Address Verification Service,” said Joe Palko, an e-commerce consultant with Your Store Wizards.

The AVS fraud prevention system is an excellent way to ensure the online purchaser or the person on the phone is the cardholder because people who try to commit payment fraud with stolen credit cards often don’t know the billing address.

2. Confirm that the shipping and billing address match.

If your business ships goods to buyers who have paid with a credit card online or over the phone, check the shipping address and the billing address.

“If you are shipping an order for a card-not-present transaction, always look at the shipping address,” Palko advised. “An abnormally large percentage of fraudulent transactions are shipped to addresses that are different from the billing address.”

Additionally, Palko said to pay special attention to shipping addresses in cities known for busy international shipping ports.

“Watch for addresses in Miami or Los Angeles,” he said. “These are major port cities where shipping consolidators will export the products overseas.” 

Small businesses that sell products online must also understand and comply with e-commerce sales tax regulations.

3. Research your credit card processor’s PCI compliance.

PCI compliance – a set of credit card processing security standards – is another area of confusion for small business owners accepting online payments. 

The PCI Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a cross-industry effort to protect payment security. It says that even though the customer isn’t standing in front of you, you’re still required to protect their credit information. Businesses rely on their credit card processor to handle PCI compliance – but just because a digital service provider offers payment processing doesn’t mean it’s PCI-compliant. 

If customer data is compromised during credit card processing, it’s your fault. It’s not acceptable to say you didn’t know your provider wasn’t compliant. That means it’s crucial for small businesses to ensure their credit card processor meets all current PCI requirements for credit card transactions. 

“Most providers offer some level of security, but it is up to the business owner to do their homework and ensure the payment service provider has met the minimum standards of the PCI requirements,” said Don Bush, senior VP of marketing for Neuro-ID, a fraud prevention and consumer experience technology provider.

And if they don’t meet the standards?

“Change service providers,” Bush said. 

4. Take security precautions with your e-commerce website. 

Cybersecurity is particularly important for e-commerce businesses that rely on uptime and a reputation for security that helps customers feel safe shopping with them.

Ensure your e-commerce website has an SSL certificate, a digital certificate that authenticates its identity and allows encrypted connections. Do everything you can to prevent and avoid network security threats. Set up a firewall and other intrusion-detection systems and update your platform when necessary.

5. Train your staff to watch for signs of fraud. 

Provide everyone on your team with the tools and training to recognize signs of fraud and respond immediately. When everyone on your staff understands secure payment practices, they can spot fraudulent activity while it’s in process and prevent further incidents. 

The popularity of digital payments has led to talk of a cashless society, but most businesses will continue accepting cash to accommodate customers without access to credit and traditional banking.

Potential consequences of not following PCI DSS guidelines

Accepting payments online can vastly expand your universe of potential customers, but it comes with credit card security risks that could lead to data breaches, lost revenue, fines, and even having your credit card acceptance privileges revoked.

These are some potential consequences of not following PCI DSS guidelines: 

1. The retailer is fully liable for fraudulent online purchases.

If you already accept credit card payments at your store or office, you may feel confident that you have a good understanding of the PCI compliance standards that govern merchant credit card and debit card activities. But there’s a crucial difference between accepting a card when the customer is present and accepting a card for online purchases.

“With purchases made online, the retailer is 100% liable for fraudulent purchases,” said Bush. “Neither the bank that approved the transaction nor the payment-processing service that reviewed the transaction are held responsible for fraudulent purchases. It’s all on the merchant. That means if your company accepts a bad or stolen credit or debit card, the total liability of the loss is yours.”

2. Retailers face fines and could lose credit card acceptance privileges.

What’s the worst that could happen if a business doesn’t follow the PCI DSS guidelines for processing online or over-the-phone credit card purchases? You could lose more than just the revenue from the sale or payment, Bush said. Your business could also lose any shipping costs you’ve incurred and receive fines, similar to the fines that banks charge for bounced checks.

“If you get too many of them, you could lose the ability to take credit or debit cards online,” Bush warned. “That essentially closes your online store.”

Choose your credit card processor wisely

The best credit card processors meet all current PCI requirements and serve your business with fast payments, reasonable fees, and excellent customer service. They also facilitate online and in-person purchases. Here are a few of our best picks: 

  • Helcim is our top credit card processor choice for established small businesses, offering transparent rates and a price-lock ensure for the life of your account. To learn more, read our in-depth review of Helcim
  • Square is our top credit card processor choice for small and growing businesses because it allows you to add features and integrations as your business scales. Read our Square review to learn more.
  • Clover is our top credit card processor choice for new businesses, offering flat-rate pricing, month-to-month contracts, and affordable POS software and hardware. Read our full Clover review for more information.

Be smart when accepting online payments 

The internet helps businesses build broad customer networks. But card-not-present transactions can increase the risk of fraud and associated penalties. Protect your business by selecting a reputable payment processor and doing everything you can to ensure purchases are legitimate. 

Alex Halperin contributed to the reporting and writing in this article. Some source interviews were conducted for a previous version of this article.

Mon, 23 Oct 2023 11:59:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/6206-tips-accepting-online-payments.html
PCI DSS version 4.0: Is your payment card data security program ready?

As the current PCI DSS Standard nears retirement, organizations are asking themselves if their payment data security program is ready for PCI DSS version 4.0.

The numerous new attack vectors being used by threat actors to obtain payment card data underscores the increasing necessity of compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). According to the 2023 edition of Verizon’s Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR), payment card data was compromised in 37% of breaches in 2022. 

It is also a high-value target. In the Hospitality industry, credit card data was the target of 41% of cyberattacks, according to the 2023 DBIR. 

Not surprisingly, the retail industry was also highly targeted. Verizon’s researchers found that payment data comprised 37% of the data compromised in attacks. Notably, they also found another risk, as 18% of attacks on e-commerce companies involved malicious code embedded within credit card processing pages – an approach in which attackers remain undetected as they pilfer payment card data without impacting the site’s operation.

To avoid the reputational harm and lawsuits that accompany such breaches, businesses must embrace a comprehensive program to comply with PCI DSS v4.0 and remain compliant long-term, while continually strengthening their overall security stance. 

But how can enterprises know if their payment card data security program is ready?   And more specifically, what can CIOs, CISOs and other IT leaders do to make certain they are doing everything possible to prevent the loss of payment card data – an event that creates a worrisome inconvenience for customers and loss of trust among consumers?

Kris Philipsen, managing director of Cyber Security Consulting at Verizon, notes there is a lot to take into account, as PCI DSS v4.0 includes substantial updates and many new requirements.

“Fortunately, compliance is not simply window dressing or an added complexity in the already challenging task of safeguarding payment card data and digital payments. It is a highly effective defense that also contributes significantly to the design of an effective enterprise-wide security program.”

To know if their payment card data security program is ready, Philipsen stresses that IT leaders must first acknowledge the need for a comprehensive compliance program that contributes to an overall security program that is sustainable, adaptable and able to provide continuous maturity improvement.

That requires good leadership to avoid the most common reasons for PCI DSS compliance failures. They include:

  • Working with the wrong Qualified Security Assessor (QSA): PCI DSS v4.0 requires more than an auditor – enterprises need a QSA who is committed to making the organization’s payment card protection strategy as effective as possible.
  • Not securing executive support: Commitment from business leaders, particularly in enterprise-wide communication, is absolutely crucial to create an environment where the principles behind PCI DSS compliance efforts become part of the organization’s culture.
  • Not identifying the root causes: IT leaders must determine where security gaps exist before selecting new security solutions and capabilities, to discover contributing factors responsible for noncompliance.

“IT leaders need to approach PCI DSS v4.0 compliance as but one goal of their efforts, but not their end goal,” Philipsen adds. “You want to create a program that is compliant with PCI DSS v4.0 and that effectively and sustainably protects payment card data even as the threat landscape evolves.”

You can find more information on Verizon’s PCI DSS assessment here. Security and compliance teams can also obtain the 2023 Payment Security Report insights for information on advanced PCI security program management and design.

Sun, 15 Oct 2023 12:00:00 -0500 en-US text/html https://www.cio.com/article/655815/pci-dss-version-4-0-is-your-payment-card-data-security-program-ready.html
Penetration Testing to Ensure PCI Compliance in State and Local Governments

For state and local governments that accept credit card payments — and that’s virtually all of them — there is a deadline looming. By March 31, 2024, any organization that takes credit cards will need to comply with the latest version of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, or PCI DSS 4.0.

Under version 4.0, it isn’t enough just to implement the right controls. Within the new standard, “there are requirements to make sure that you’re regularly monitoring them and testing them,” says Mark Manglicmot, senior vice president of security services at cybersecurity company Arctic Wolf Networks.

Routine penetration testing can ensure that government agencies are meeting their obligations under PCI DSS. “The role of penetration testing is to help detect network and application vulnerabilities operating inside the network and to resolve these vulnerabilities,” says Ciske van Oosten, head of global business intelligence at Verizon and lead author of the Verizon 2023 Payment Security Report. “It’s important to test a network regularly.”

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What Is PCI Compliance? 

In support of secure credit card transactions, “PCI is an industry standard that basically regulates how credit cards are processed and sets forth a standard set of security requirements designed to ensure the protection of sensitive data associated with credit card payments,” says Alan Shark, executive director at the Public Technology Institute, a division of Fusion Learning Partners.

“This becomes particularly important to state and local governments, because government has far more sensitive data than perhaps any business and also accepts credit card payments,” he says. In government, “credit card payments through websites and through other transactions have become quite commonplace. How are we keeping up with it? What are the questions that local governments should be asking?”

By asking the right questions and implementing appropriate controls according to a defined standard, state and local agencies can go a long way toward improving security.

“If you're compliant with PCI, it really does reduce the likelihood of data breaches and the reputational damage associated with that,” says Kayne McGladrey, IEEE Senior Member and field CISO at compliance management platform Hyperproof.

What Are the 12 PCI DSS Compliance Standards? 

The 12 requirements under PCI DSS cover a wide range of technologies, according to Lauren Holloway, director of data security standards at the PCI Security Standards Council. The 12 items require IT teams to install and maintain network security controls, apply secure configurations to all system components and protect stored account data.

PCI DSS looks at the data aspects of credit card handling, an urgent need in the current technology landscape.

“So much data is stored digitally these days. PCI DSS is a recognition that we do have a digital economy at this point and that it’s essential to have controls at the digital level,” McGladrey says.

Government organizations need to protect systems and networks from malicious software; develop and maintain secure systems and software; and identify users and authenticate access to system components, among other things. And, they need to “test security of systems and networks regularly,” Holloway says.

The 12 key requirements include 78 base requirements, “as well as over 400 test procedures,” McGladrey says. In particular, PCI DSS testing includes requirements governing penetration testing, as part of an emerging emphasis on long-term security.

“In PCI 4.0, there is a new focus on long-term security processes. PCI used to be perceived as a one-and-done; you'd do it annually. This is much more about maintaining controls during the year,” McGladrey says.

If you're compliant with PCI, it really does reduce the likelihood of data breaches and the reputational damage associated with that.”

Kayne McGladrey CISO, Hyperproof

Within that paradigm, PCI penetration testing evaluates the security of the cardholder data environment, as well as networks or systems connected to that environment. Through both automated and manual processes, “testers are looking for hidden vulnerabilities,” Shark says.

McGladrey adds that PCI DSS 4.0 builds upon the best practices established in PCI DSS 3.2.1.

“While internal resources may conduct penetration tests to discover exploitable vulnerabilities and security weaknesses, most organizations will likely hire a qualified penetration tester” to meet the 4.0 requirements, he says. “In both scenarios, organizations must outline, document and put into practice a penetration testing methodology that encompasses both internal and external testing across the complete cardholder data environment, which may also extend to APIs.”

According to the PCI Security Standards Council, the goals of penetration testing are “to determine whether and how a malicious user can gain unauthorized access to assets that affect the fundamental security of the system, files, logs and/or cardholder data,” and to confirm “that the applicable controls required by PCI DSS — such as scope, vulnerability management, methodology, and segmentation — are in place.” 

READ MORE: Why states should appoint chief privacy officers and give them authority.

The council identifies three types of penetration tests: black-box, white-box and grey-box.

In a black-box assessment, the agency would provide no information before the testing starts. In a white-box assessment, “the entity may provide the penetration tester with full and complete details of the network and applications,” according to the Council. “For grey-box assessments, the entity may provide partial details of the target systems.”

PCI DSS penetration tests typically are either white-box or grey-box assessments. “These types of assessments yield more accurate results and provide a more comprehensive test of the security posture of the environment than a pure black-box assessment,” the Council notes.

Whichever form of assessment one chooses, “PCI penetration testing should be performed annually or when a major change is made in the infrastructure,” PTI’s Shark says.

“The scope of the test should include all systems, networks and applications that are part of or connected to the credit card processing entity. All tests and results or findings — including vulnerabilities, data exposure and system compromises — must be reported,” he says.


How Does Encrypted Data Assist with PCI DSS Compliance? 

Encryption encodes human-readable text, “rendering it unreadable by anybody who should not have access to it,” says Arctic Wolf’s Manglicmot. “You want to do that because, if a hack occurs and those other controls break down, the hacker will only get the encoded version of the data and not a human-readable form of it.”

As a rule, encryption is a baseline requirement in PCI DSS.

“The data relevant to payment card information needs to be encrypted,” Manglicmot says. “If they store any of that card data, they need to encrypt it while it's in storage. When payment card data is being transmitted to the payment card company, they absolutely have to make sure that it's encrypted in transit, and they should be making sure that the vendors and partners they use for that have encryption that meets PCI controls.”

These encryption requirements in turn have an impact on the ways in which penetration testing is conducted.

If a tester stores cardholder data obtained during the assessment, for example, “the data must be stored by the tester following the guidelines of the PCI DSS for the storage of account data,” meaning it either must be encrypted using strong cryptography, truncated or not stored at all, according to the PCI Security Standards Council.

Overall, encryption “needs to be in anything that stores or transmits payment card information,” Manglicmot says. “This includes web browsers and storage, if you're storing it on any sort of hard drive or in the cloud. If you have a vendor that is processing that credit information, you need to make sure that you have a reputable one that is in compliance with PCI standards.”

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Tue, 24 Oct 2023 04:55:00 -0500 Adam Stone en text/html https://statetechmagazine.com/article/2023/10/penetration-testing-ensure-pci-compliance-state-and-local-governments-perfcon

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