In today's data-driven world, it is essential to ensure the security and safety of customer data. Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a set of security standards that ensure the protection of cardholder data. Your business must adhere to PCI DSS compliance, whether it is a start-up or a global enterprise. Moreover, PCI DSS is not a law or legal regulatory requirement but a part of contractual obligations to protect credit and debit card transactions from data theft and fraud. It was created in 2004 by the major card companies: Mastercard, Visa, JCB, Discover, and American Express. In this blog, we delve into PCI DSS compliance level and requirements.

PCI DSS Compliance Levels

PCI DSS compliance level is divided into four parts:

Level 1: This level applies to organizations that handle more than 6 million card transactions annually. They must undergo an internal audit annually to pass a Qualified Security Assessor (QSA) assessment. Additionally, they also undergo a quarterly network visibility scan by an Approved Scanning Vendor (ASV).

Level 2: This level applies to the organization that handles card transactions between 1 to 6 million. They need to complete the Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ) annually and also need to submit quarterly ASV reports.

Level 3: This applies to the organization that processes card transactions between 20 thousands to one million. They are also required to complete a yearly SAQ like level 1 and 2. They might also submit quarterly ASV reports.

Level 4: Level four applies to organizations that handle less than 20k card transactions annually. They need to complete an annual SAQ, and a PCI scan might be required.

Requirements of PCI DSS

There are 12 requirements of PCI DSS compliance set by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC), including technical and operational to protect the cardholder data.

  1. Your organization should install and maintain a firewall, as it protects the cardholder data.
  2. Create your original system password and also ensure the originality in other security parameters. Avoid using vendor-supplied default passwords.
  3. Your organization should ensure the protection of stored cardholder data.
  4. Your organization should ensure encryption of cardholder data transmission across public networks.
  5. Use anti-virus software and also update it regularly.
  6. Your organization should develop and maintain security systems and applications.
  7. Your organization should restrict the cardholder data to those who don't require this information.
  8. Your organization must assign a unique ID to each person with access to the computer.
  9. Ensure the restriction of physical access to cardholder data.
  10. To eliminate the potential vulnerabilities in physical and wireless networks, monitor and track the access to cardholder data and network resources.
  11. Adhere to the regular testing of security systems and processes.
  12. Your organization must maintain a policy that deals with information security.

The Bottom Line!

QSA reviews all the requirements and verifies to ensure that your organization has adhered to PCI DSS compliance. Maintaining these standards can be challenging, irrespective of your best intentions. That's where INTERCERT helps you comply with PCI DSS and protect the cardholder data.