As digital technologies continue to rise, so do the threats and difficulties associated with cybersecurity. In order to safeguard sensitive and critical data from cyberattacks, it is essential to adhere to industry standards. Particularly, financial and banking institutions have to keep up with Payment Card Industry Security Standards.
Why is keeping up with compliance guidelines so important?
Organizations must demonstrate compliance with the PCI Data Security Standard (DSS) through regular documentation and testing to meet its requirements. The recertification process happens once a year for PCI DSS and every 24 months for PCI PIN.
The consequences of non-compliance can be immense, which makes the investment in compliance with the requirements even more cost-effective.
12 Key Features of PCI Compliance for Financial Institutions
PCI compliance for financial institutions entails the implementation of a variety of security measures, such as:
1. Firewall-based access controls
2. Not using default passwords from vendors
3. Safely storing cardholder data
4. Encrypted transmission of the cardholder data
5. Complete protection against malware with updated anti-virus programs
6. Development of secure applications and processes, and their maintenance
7. Restricted access on a need-to-know basis
8. Traceable, verified authentication to access system components
9. Restricted physical access to cardholder’s data of users
10. Having an audit trail for at least a year to network access and cardholders data
11. Regular penetration tests of security systems
12. Maintaining an internal security policy for personnel
It is advised to study the requirements by a team that can consist of e.g. a CTO, CISO, CSO, and technology officers in collaboration with experts, to ensure that standards are implemented correctly.
Who sets the standards for PCI security?
The security standards are established by the PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC). Their goal is to promote the global adoption of data security standards and secure payment resources.
Benefits of PCI Compliance for Financial Institutions
Banks and other financial institutions have several benefits to gain from adhering to the standards. Essentially, it contributes to the security of sensitive personal user data, lowering the likelihood of data breaches and improving the reputation. By identifying potential threats before they occur, compliance also contributes to the cost reduction of potential data breaches and fraud.
Where can you get help?
The cybersecurity and HSM solutions company Utimaco has published the following infographic with a guideline of five critical questions and answers on PCI Compliance in the banking and financial industry.