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What Is PCI DSS?

PCI DSS stands for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard established to enhance payment security processes in terms of cardholder data protection.

What Is PCI DSS?

PCI DSS stands for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard established to enhance payment security processes in terms of cardholder data protection.

What Is PCI DSS Compliance?

PCI compliance means adherence to the 12 data security policies founded by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council to protect cash, credit & debit card transactions and forbid the fraudulent use of the cardholder’s personal data.

Who Needs To Comply

If you are an owner of an eCommerce or physical store that accepts and processes cards for payments, regardless of the number and amount of transactions, then you must fulfill PCI DSS requirements.

However, your required level of compliance assessment will be defined by the annual transaction volume (you will fall into one of the 4 merchant levels of compliance). For example, if you are a small-to-medium business, you will be defined as a level-4 merchant.

PCI DSS Requirements

Here are twelve principal cardholder data security terms:

  • Install and keep up a firewall configuration for data protection.
  • Ensure that users do not keep using merchant-supplied default passwords and other parameters.
  • Protect the saved data of a cardholder.
  • Encrypt data transmission across open networks.
  • Regularly update anti-virus programs and protect your systems against malware.
  • Develop and carry on secure systems.
  • Restrict access to cardholder information (it can be accessed only by people who absolutely need it for business operations).
  • Authenticate access to the system.
  • Limit physical access to the data of a cardholder.
  • Keep track of all access to the system resources and cardholder data.
  • Often test your security systems on a regular basis.
  • Provide an information security policy for your employees.

eCommerce Roles & Responsibilities For Meeting PCI DSS Requirements

Depending on the type of eCommerce solution (in-house, outsourced or hybrid), the eCommerce roles are distributed differently to ensure the meeting of PCI requirements:

  • In the case of an in-house eCommerce solution, the seller is fully responsible for falling in with all the relevant PCI DSS requirements.
  • For hybrid or outsourced systems, the seller and service provider share the responsibility for complying with these data requirements. Yet, it’s the responsibility of the merchant to ensure that the service provider protects the privacy of the payment information that is kept or processed on the seller’s behalf.

Vulnerabilities Caused by Insecure Coding Practices

Insecure coding in eCommerce leads to certain risks and challenges such as: injection flaws of potentially malicious data, cross-site scripting (when an attacker can locate the code in the victim’s browser and redirect them to a fraudulent website), buffer overflows (can change the system configurations, damage or disclose confidential information) and weak credentials for authentification and session (not strong enough passwords or vulnerable browser sessions).

Some other vulnerabilities include security misconfigurations (weak or not changed default passwords, and unconfident settings for remote access).


Should I store a customer’s credit card data?

According to PCI DSS requirements, sensitive authentication data (SAD) cannot be stored after the authentication. As for cardholder information, the security standard says that its storage should be narrowed down to that which is necessary for business, legal or regulatory needs.

What are some examples of PCI DSS compliant eCommerce platforms?

BigCommerce, Shopify, Amazon, and eBay are examples of eCommerce platforms that meet the PCI DSS standards.

What are some examples of PCI validated payment applications?

Here are the examples of payment apps that have  PCI DSS certification: Andy Payment, Aldelo POS, Aptify, SmartVista Suite, iGate, D-TEF, HRS Payment Gateway, ChargeItPro, TransAction+, WAY4, NanoPay, etc. Apart from these payment applications, there are many more that are PCI validated.

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