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PCI-DSS Compliance Goals

When it comes to security compliance, there are several overarching PCI-DSS compliance goals you need to meet before you can be considered compliant. This is crucial for businesses of all sizes, as it significantly reduces the likelihood of a data breach which could have significant and costly consequences.

There are 12 PCI-DSS compliance goals every business needs to meet to strengthen your security landscape and achieve PCI-DSS compliance.

What is the main goal of PCI-DSS compliance?

By implementing all the necessary PCI-DSS compliance goals, you can rest assured that your business is doing everything possible to keep your customers’ data secure and protected from threats. All security controls and processes required by the PCI-DSS are essential for protecting sensitive cardholder data – not a single goal can be missed.

What are the core PCI-DSS compliance goals and requirements?

Overall, there are six core PCI-DSS compliance goals, made up of 12 smaller requirements that will all need to be put into place. These are as follows:

Build and maintain a secure network

These requirements are necessary to achieve this goal:

  1. Install and maintain a firewall configuration to protect cardholder data
  1. Never use vendor-supplied default passwords or security parameters

Cyber attackers often gain access to your system through networks, so it’s important for you to ensure that these have no weaknesses. Your business should implement and maintain firewalls, security software, and anti-virus software systems. A firewall, which checks network traffic to accept authorised users and reject suspicious or unfamiliar users, should have its configuration rules updated every six months. You should also never use system default passwords in internal or wireless networks, instead updating these regularly.

Protect cardholder data

These requirements are necessary to achieve this goal:

3. Protect stored cardholder data

4. Encrypt transmission of cardholder data across open, public networks

There are several things your organisation needs to do to meet these PCI-DSS control objectives. This includes not storing cardholder data unless it’s critical for your legal, business, or regulatory needs. You should also never keep the sensitive authentication data (any Track 1 or 2 information), or the primary account number (PAN), the cardholder’s name, the service code, and the expiration date.

Maintain a vulnerability management program

These requirements are necessary to achieve this goal:

5. Use and regularly update antivirus software or programs

6. Develop and maintain secure systems and applications

To meet the fifth and sixth PCI-DSS control objectives, your business should install antivirus software and implement extra risk prevention measures. The antivirus software should be monitored and tracked to regularly audit your security system and only authorised individuals should have access to this. Any vulnerabilities found should be identified so the severity of the risk can be assessed and eliminated as needed.

Implement strong access control measures

These requirements are necessary to achieve this goal:

7. Restrict access to cardholder data by business need to know

8. Assign a unique ID to each person with computer access

9. Restrict physical access to cardholder data

Your business needs to ensure that only authorised people can access the cardholder data both physically and electronically. One method to do this is to provide users with as few details as possible, whilst still leaving them able to perform their tasks through role access. Multi-factor authentication will also help to restrict access to online servers. You should also restrict physical access to any locally kept data storage.

Regularly monitor and test networks

These requirements are necessary to achieve this goal:

10. Track and monitor all access points to network resources and cardholder data

11. Regularly test security systems and processes

Frequent testing is essential for organisations to detect risks and threats so these can be acted on before they lead to full-blown data breaches. Alongside the testing process, you will also need to implement system logging and back these logs up to centralised servers. This will help you track vulnerabilities and see where information has been updated or edited.

Maintain an information security policy

This requirement is necessary to achieve this goal:

12. Maintain a policy that addresses information security for all personnel

PCI-DSS compliance goals state that businesses need to develop a policy that documents the specific security procedures implemented. This policy must explain the data processing practices and what action needs to be taken should a data breach occur. By creating and maintaining an information security policy, you can prove that you’ve met all necessary PCI-DSS compliance goals.

Achieve your PCI-DSS compliance goals with Hicomply

Each of the PCI-DSS compliance goals requires you to keep track of the actions you make, which can feel difficult if you’re not fully confident with security compliance.

By using Hicomply’s dashboard, your company will stay compliant while you work. Our ISMS solution organises all your documents in one place, making meeting PCI-DSS requirements easier than ever. Contact us for a demo today.