PCI Compliance Requirements: Network Security
There are many challenges that accompany implementing PCI compliance within your organization. And, these challenges can be particularly tough to navigate alone, given their importance. This article explores how Trend Micro Cloud One – Network Security helps you overcome the complexities of maintaining PCI compliance and audit readiness.
Payment card industry (PCI) compliance is a set of rules that ensures the safety of a customer’s credit card information. All businesses that receive, store, or transfer credit card information must maintain a secure environment.
Major card companies—including AMEX, MasterCard, Visa, JCB, and Discover—established the Payment Card Industry Security Standard Council (PCI SSC) to develop and manage payment card security. The SSC has many standards and supporting materials, like frameworks, tools, and resources to help organisations ensure that cardholder information is always safe.
Maintaining PCI compliance lowers the risk of data breaches, protects confidential data, and helps businesses boost their brand name. A credit card company’s security protocol is incomplete without PCI compliance, and these companies typically require and mention this in their agreements when working with one another.
PCI compliance steps for an organisation
Any business that accepts credit card payments, big or small, must be PCI compliant. This means that the organisation must follow the rules set by the PCI Standards Council.
This typically involves following these five steps.
Step 1: Understand your organisation’s PCI level
Any organisation’s PCI level is determined based on the number of annual transactions it processes. There are four levels of PCI compliance, each with its own set of requirements, starting from level one and going up to four:
- Level 1: An organisation with more than 6 million transactions per year that has also been the victim of a breach that compromised card holders’ confidential data.
- Level 2: An organisation processing between 1 to 6 million transactions annually.
- Level 3: An organisation that conducts 20,000 to 1 million transactions annually.
- Level 4: An organisation with an annual processing volume of under 20,000 transactions.
Step 2: Learn the 12 PCI standards
Your organisation must comply with these 12 PCI Data Security Standards (DSS) to be PCI compliant:
- Use and maintain a firewall to ensure that cardholder data is protected.
- Instead of using default settings, protecting passwords with security measures that users can change and are unique to each user.
- Implement both physical and virtual protection to prevent data breaches.
- Encrypt any data about the cardholder sent through open or public networks.
- Install, maintain, and update antivirus software.
- Develop and maintain secure systems and apps in a way that actively searches and fixes vulnerabilities.
- Minimise people in the organisation who can access cardholder data to avoid data theft and security issues.
- Make sure your systems authenticate and thoroughly identify users with access to sensitive information.
- Limit access to cardholder data that you physically keep.
- Monitor and track network resources and cardholder data using logs.
- Test security systems and their resources regularly.
- Ensure that all employees know and follow a firm data security policy.
Step 3: Complete self-assessment questionnaire (SAQ)
The SAQ thoroughly examines your organisation’s compliance with the 12 standards specified above. Each questionnaire is a set of yes or no questions to establish how closely your firm complies with the PCI DSS criteria.
For a PCI level one organisation, a PCI-approved auditor verifies its compliance with the standards. Based on your SAQ, your organisation can hire an approved scanning vendor (ASV) to look for security flaws and ensure that it meets all the standards. The questionnaires differ for different businesses for levels two to four, guided by the level of compliance you must meet and the number of transactions you have per year.
Step 4: Protect cardholder data and your network
At its core, preventing untrusted parties from gaining access to sensitive data is the most fundamental aspect of PCI compliance. After installing and configuring the security system, have your employees set up a strict password policy. Tokenizing sensitive card data allows businesses to keep it safe and secure.
Step 5: Complete official attestation of compliance (AOC) form and submit documentation to credit card companies
Last but not least, step five is crucial for completing the PCI compliance process. Organisations use the AOC form to certify that their PCI DSS evaluation—as indicated in an SAQ or PCI compliance report—has been a success.
Then, you submit SAQ, ASV, and AOC reports to financial institutions, such as banks and credit card firms, and to all the companies with which your organisation does business.
PCI compliance audit
You must carry out a yearly PCI audit with a qualified security assessor (QSA) or the company’s internal security assessor. A PCI audit evaluates the security of your company’s payment software from all aspects.
To be compliant, your organisation must meet up to 281 standards listed in the 12 PCI DSS requirements to receive a Report on Compliance (ROC). Initial audits can take two years, and self-assessment can take up to a year.
The PCI audit process has three steps.
Scoping defines the assessment parameters for your PCI audit. The organisation’s crucial task is to pin down all sites and workflows with cardholder data. Annually scope all systems before your assessment, as PCI Audit is yearly.
2. On-site audit assessment
To analyse network security, along with all its devices, policies, and protocols, QSA carries out a comprehensive onsite audit evaluation.
The QSA’s duties are to:
- Guide and approve the evaluation scope.
- Document and verify all organisational and technical documentation.
- Ensuring the use of PCI data security protocols.
- Guide your organisation through the audit process.
- Determine whether PCI DSS standards are satisfied.
- Attend the whole audit process.
- Submit a detailed final report.
3. Continue monitoring PCI standards
To maintain compliance with the PCI DSS, organisations must regularly monitor their network systems, policies, and activities. Many organisations perform routine PCI scanning, pen testing, and event log monitoring to ensure that all PCI data security measures are according to standards.
Trend Micro - PCI compliant from the start
Trend Micro Cloud One – All in One Cloud Security meets the needs of your cloud and security teams alike with CNAPP capabilities that provide connected protection throughout your entire cloud environment. Part of the Trend Micro One unified cybersecurity platform, Trend Micro Cloud One™ delivers thoughtful application security from commit to runtime across all major providers, esnsures compliance, audit readiness, and integrates with the DevOps tools your organisation already uses.
With the Trend Micro Cloud One platform, you can comply with the PCI DSS using a simplified and automated process that incorporates scoping, an on-site audit, and continuous monitoring of PCI standards so you are PCI compliant from day one. This simplified process ensures that when you have to perform an audit, you are ready. Trend Micro Cloud One – Network Security and Trend Micro Cloud One – Workload Security enable you to ensure continuous network compliance and audit readiness for monitoring traffic (PCI 11.4) and restricting access to essential domains and locations (PCI 1.2.1).
Trend Micro Cloud One – Workload Security is a comprehensive SaaS solution that helps you protect your data centre, cloud infrastructure, and containers without sacrificing performance or security. You don’t have to worry about setting up and maintaining your security infrastructure, as Workload Security does that for you. It can optimise your multi-cloud and hybrid environment’s compliance while reducing costs. In addition, it provides continuous compliance to your network, including GDPR, PCI DSS, NIST 800-53, and HIPAA/HITECH.
Trend Micro Cloud One – Network Security provides strong network layer security built into the cloud network fabric, which lets you track the traffic coming in and going out. Thanks to simple and flexible deployment choices, you can quickly protect your network without impacting your business applications or services. Its threat intelligence mechanism gives you centralised visibility and management to promptly satisfy compliance standards with world-class active network protection. Lastly, it offers best practices and suggestions to help achieve and maintain PCI DSS compliance.
These two Trend Micro Cloud One services provide an automated way of simplifying PCI compliance by removing the complexities of maintaining and managing PCI compliance in your network and workloads. Trend Micro Cloud One is not just PCI compliant but can also manage all your compliance needs as well.
This article defined PCI compliance, listed the steps an organisation must take to become PCI compliant, the auditing process for PCI compliance, and finally, how Trend Micro’s Network Security products are an ideal choice for companies trying to attain PCI compliance.
PCI regulations are so complex that it can be challenging to comply on your own. Organisations must meet all 246 PCI-DSS standards to be compliant. Non-compliance with PCI DSS exposes firms to customer loss, credit card company fines, data breaches, and lawsuits.
Installation of network security, data encryption, malware prevention, filling the competency gap and defining scope, and other aspects for clusters and networks is a hectic task. Once an organisation is compliant, sustaining it is extremely difficult. You must test systems often and resolve issues immediately.
Trend Micro’s Cloud One can solve these difficulties with its continuous compliance monitoring, which includes automated real-time security and compliance checks. It makes the PCI compliance process very easy to achieve and maintain. Contact Trend Micro to learn how to minimise your network and workload PCI compliance concerns.