A 5-step checklist for PCI DSS 4.0 compliance

In March 2022, the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) was updated with a number of new and modified requirements. Since their last update in 2018, there has been a rapid increase in the use of cloud technologies, contactless payments have become the norm, and the COVID-19 pandemic has spurred massive growth in e-commerce and payments. on line. At the same time, cybercriminals have adopted increasingly sophisticated methods, taking advantage of global instability to compromise individuals and organizations.

These ongoing changes have made online payments and the digital infrastructure around them a significant target, resulting in the latest update to PCI DSS requirements. According to the PCI Security Standards Council, the overarching goals updates aim to continue to meet the security needs of the payments industry, promote security as an ongoing and evolving process, add flexibility to different security methodologies, and improve validation methods.

All organizations that process or store cardholder data are now responsible for complying with the new requirements, and they have until March 2024 to do so. And while it may seem like a distant future, these changes will take a lot of time and effort. There’s no better time to start than now.

With that in mind, we’ve put together a five-step checklist to help you transition to PCI DSS v4.0, and we’ve shared some of the highlights below.

Five Steps to Ensure Ongoing PCI DSS Compliance

As you prepare to make the transition, it’s important to remember that PCI compliance – both with these new updates and in the future – is not a one-time effort. Ongoing compliance with all cybersecurity standards is an important part of maintaining a strong security posture, and this requires being aware of new and updated standards, implementing best practices on an ongoing basis, and think about how and when these changes are made.

For PCI v4.0 in particular, an effective and efficient transition requires a phased approach that takes into account technical and cultural changes. Beyond adjusting the way you do things, you’ll also need to foster a security mindset within your teams to engage everyone in driving compliance. Here’s what it looks like.

Step 1: Plan a phased implementation aligned with the PCI timeline

To help organizations transition to PCI DSS 4.0, the PCI Security Standards Council has shared an implementation timeline that retires the previous version of PCI DSS by March 2024. Beyond that, there are also future requirements that will need to be in place. by March 2025.

Start by documenting a step-by-step plan that accounts for other projects on your team’s plate and gives them plenty of time to get it right. This will put you on the path to greater audit success and a stronger security posture.

Step 2: Review potential scope changes

One of the changes to this new set of requirements is the expansion of requirement 3, which now includes the protection of account data, not just cardholder data. With a change like this, it will be important to verify its impact on the scope of your compliance operations. You may need to integrate systems that weren’t included before, which could impact your long-term budget.

Step 3: Conduct a people and process assessment

Building and maintaining a security mindset within your organization is an important part of ensuring continued compliance. Engage your teams and find ways to put compliance and security at the heart of their daily work. Explore opportunities for cross-team collaboration and define processes that achieve the goal of strengthening cybersecurity.

Step 4: Strengthen SCM processes

Another significant change in these new updates is that Requirement 2 now expands the scope of Security Configuration Management (SCM), making organizations responsible for their own security configuration program. Beyond reducing your attack surface, SCM will also help you maintain compliance with other cybersecurity standards and reduce the time it takes to prepare for an audit.

Step 5: Integrate a tool that automates continuous compliance

Having a solution that continuously monitors compliance is the easiest way to ensure your organization stays compliant once you’ve made all the required changes. With PCI DSS, compliance must be proven every day, and not having an automated tool can be costly and time-consuming for your team. Consider a platform that combines SCM with File Integrity Monitoring (FIM) to comply with PCI DSS v4.0.

How Tripwire can help you

PCI DSS compliance is the best way to protect payment card data and PCI system integrity, but maintaining compliance shouldn’t be a challenge. With Tripwire Enterprise, a robust SCM and FIM solution, teams can focus on their core competencies, rather than ticking administrative boxes.

Specifically, the Tripwire Enterprise Changes and Compliance Dashboard alerts you whenever an unexpected change to your network might indicate a vulnerability. It also automates compliance proofs, saving you time and effort when working to prove PCI DSS v4.0 compliance. Dashboards are customizable and provide at-a-glance confirmation of change and compliance status of your infrastructure, allowing your team to ensure compliance at a glance.

The most recent changes to the PCI DSS standard reflect significant changes in the way the world works. Cybercriminals are more sophisticated than ever before, and the proliferation of cloud computing and online payments is putting cardholders at risk. Transitioning to meet these new requirements will be a priority for all organizations that process or store cardholder data, but the journey won’t end there. The latest PCI DSS requirements emphasize the importance of making security an ongoing effort, and it’s a trend that is expected to continue to grow.

For more information on each of the five steps to continued PCI DSS compliance, read our executive guide.


About the Author: Ali Cameron is a content marketer specializing in cybersecurity and SaaS B2B space. In addition to writing for Tripwire’s State of Security blog, she also writes for brands such as Okta, Salesforce, and Microsoft. Taking an unusual path in the content world, Ali began her career as a management consultant at PwC, where she sparked her interest in making complex concepts easy to understand. She combines this interest with a passion for storytelling, a combination well suited to writing in the field of cybersecurity.

Editor’s note: The views expressed in this guest author article are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect those of Tripwire, Inc.

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