How to Comply with PCI DSS Requirement 4: Encrypt Cardholder Data (2024)

How to Comply with PCI DSS Requirement 4: Encrypt Cardholder Data (1)

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Narendra Sahoo How to Comply with PCI DSS Requirement 4: Encrypt Cardholder Data (2)

Narendra Sahoo

PCI QSA, PCI SSA, PCI QPA, CISSP, CISA, CRISC, CEH, ISO27001 LA - Director, VISTA InfoSec

Published Sep 4, 2023

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PCI DSS Requirement 4 states that organizations must "transmit cardholder data by encrypting it over open, public networks." This means that any time cardholder data is sent over the internet, it must be encrypted using a secure encryption protocol.

There are a number of different encryption protocols that can be used to meet PCI DSS Requirement 4. Some of the most common protocols include:

  • Transport Layer Security (TLS)
  • Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)
  • Datagram Transport Layer Security (DTLS)

When choosing an encryption protocol, it is important to consider the following factors:

  • The level of security required
  • The compatibility with the systems that will be used to transmit the cardholder data
  • The cost of implementing and maintaining the encryption solution

Once an encryption protocol has been chosen, it is important to implement it correctly and to ensure that it is used consistently. This can be done by following the guidance provided by the PCI Security Standards Council.

Watch our video on PCI DSS Requirement 4 : Summary of Changes from Version 3.2.1 to 4.0 Explained

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Organizations that fail to comply with PCI DSS Requirement 4 could face a number of consequences, including:

  • Financial penalties from the card brands
  • Regulatory fines
  • Damage to their reputation
  • Loss of customers

It is therefore important for organizations to take steps to ensure that they are compliant with PCI DSS Requirement 4.

Here are some additional tips for complying with PCI DSS Requirement 4:

  • Use a strong encryption key.
  • Encrypt all cardholder data, including full card numbers, expiration dates, and CVV codes.
  • Encrypt cardholder data in transit and at rest.
  • Implement a secure key management process.
  • Monitor your encryption solution for vulnerabilities.

By following these tips, you can help to protect your organization from the risks associated with transmitting cardholder data over open, public networks.

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How to Comply with PCI DSS Requirement 4: Encrypt Cardholder Data (2024)

FAQs

How to Comply with PCI DSS Requirement 4: Encrypt Cardholder Data? ›

The PCI DSS applies to any organization that stores, transmits, or maintains any cardholder data, regardless of size or the volume of transactions. This means, it applies to merchants, issuers, acquirers, and processors—basically any entity involved in card payment processing.

Who does PCI DSS apply to 4 answers? ›

The PCI DSS applies to any organization that stores, transmits, or maintains any cardholder data, regardless of size or the volume of transactions. This means, it applies to merchants, issuers, acquirers, and processors—basically any entity involved in card payment processing.

How to comply with PCI DSS? ›

The PCI DSS security standard includes 12 main requirements with more than 300 sub-requirements that mirror security leading practices.
  1. BUILD AND MAINTAIN A SECURE NETWORK AND SYSTEMS.
  2. PROTECT ACCOUNT DATA.
  3. MAINTAIN A VULNERABILITY MANAGEMENT PROGRAM.
  4. IMPLEMENT STRONG ACCESS CONTROL MEASURES.

What are the requirements for PCI DSS Level 4? ›

PCI DSS Level 4 compliance

As with Levels 2 and 3, Level 4 merchants must complete an annual self-assessment form using the appropriate SAQ for PCI DSS Level 4 and the Attestation of Compliance (AOC) form and also may be required to undergo a quarterly PCI ASV external network security scan.

How does PCI DSS applies to encrypted account data? ›

PCI DSS encryption requires protecting cardholders' sensitive information and encrypting data shared across public networks. PCI DSS encryption compliance demands complex cryptographic algorithms or other ways of encryption that render primary account numbers (PANs) unreadable.

What is PCI 4 compliance? ›

In short, PCI DSS 4.0 is designed to further secure cardholder data by helping organizations take a more holistic view of security measures and access controls. In addition, to respond to new threats posed by advances in technology.

How to perform PCI DSS assessment? ›

In using these 5 steps, you'll simplify the necessary work ahead of your assessment and maximize the effort of relevant resources.
  1. Complete a Risk Assessment. ...
  2. Document Policies and Procedures. ...
  3. Identify Compliance Gaps. ...
  4. Conduct Training to Educate Employees. ...
  5. Perform Maintenance.

What are the steps in the PCI DSS Compliance process? ›

The Core PCI DSS Compliance Process
  • Determine the Environment and Scope. ...
  • Evaluate the Readiness to Assess. ...
  • Remediate Any Gaps Identified. ...
  • Conduct the PCI DSS Assessment.

What are the 3 steps to adhering to PCI DSS? ›

There are three ongoing steps for adhering to the PCI DSS

Repair — fixing identified vulnerabilities, securely removing any unnecessary cardholder data storage, and implementing secure business processes.

What is the PCI compliance process? ›

In order to ensure your business is complying with the PCI-DSS standards, you must do three steps periodically: assess, remediate, and report. You must continually assess and analyze the PCI-DSS standards to make sure you are complying.

What are the PCI DSS encryption requirements? ›

The PCI DSS encryption requirements include one-way hash functions, strong cryptography, truncation, securely stored data pads and index tokens, and the use of AES (128-bit or higher), RSA (2048 bits or higher), TDES/TDEA, DSA/D-H (2048/224 bits or higher), and ECC (224 bits or higher).

What is the PCI 4.0 regulation? ›

PCI DSS Compliance Level 4

Organizations at this level are mainly faced with meeting the PCI requirements of their bank. Their requirements typically include: Using only Qualified Integrators and Resellers (QIRs) to install, integrate, and service point-of-sale (POS) equipment and applications.

What 4 things does PCI DSS cover? ›

PCI DSS, or Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, is a set of security standards designed to ensure the protection of cardholder data. It covers four main areas: cardholder data protection, access control measures, secure network systems, and encrypted data transmission.

How do we comply with PCI DSS? ›

PCI DSS requirements:
  1. Protect cardholder data.
  2. Maintain a vulnerability management programme.
  3. Implement strong access control measures.
  4. Regularly monitor and test networks.
  5. Maintain an information security policy.

What is the compliance with the PCI DSS process? ›

Compliance with PCI DSS is a continuous process that involves three steps: Assess. Identify and inventory assets and processes that handle cardholder data, and analyze them for vulnerabilities that could lead to exposure. Repair.

Who is required to comply with PCI DSS How can companies protect cardholder data? ›

Businesses can protect cardholder data and ensure PCI compliance through measures like using approved software and hardware from trusted service providers, maintaining an information security program, limiting the storage of payment information, regularly training employees on cybersecurity best practices, and ...

Who does the PCI DSS apply to? ›

The PCI DSS applies to all entities that store, process, and/or transmit cardholder data. It covers technical and operational system components included in or connected to cardholder data. If you are a merchant who accepts or processes payment cards, you must comply with the PCI DSS.

What are the 4 things that PCI DSS covers? ›

PCI DSS, or Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, is a set of security standards designed to ensure the protection of cardholder data. It covers four main areas: cardholder data protection, access control measures, secure network systems, and encrypted data transmission.

Who does PCI DSS apply to Quizlet? ›

The PCI DSS applies to: any entity that stores, processes, or transmits payment card account data.

Who is PCI DSS mandated by? ›

While not federally mandated in the U.S, the PCI DSS Standard is mandated by the PCI SSC. The council comprises major credit card bands. Some states have even incorporated the PCI DSS into their laws. The latest iteration of the PCI DSS – version 4.0 – was released at the end of March 2022.

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