Last week, we sat down with Bart McGlothin and Christian Janoff from Cisco’s security team to discuss PCI Security for Retail to better understand “What is PCI Compliance?” and “How does that affect Retailers?”
As a quick re-cap: PCI Compliance is a 12-step process to secure credit cards. Any retailer that accepts credit card payments must be “PCI Compliant” (i.e., follow those 12 steps). Compliance is enforced by the Retailer’s acquiring bank (the financial institution that processes the credit card payments for the Retailer).
Q. So, we know that Retailers need to be PCI Compliant. How can Cisco help?
A. Cisco has a PCI design and implementation guide for merchants to use. It really stands alone in the industry because it provides holistic guidance in three key ways:
A common perception is that there is a difference between being secure and being compliant. A Verizon analysis on cybercrime reported that cyber-attacks on Retailers are increasing and becoming streamlined and automated. According to the 2012 Verizon PCI compliance report, “97% of breaches were avoidable through simple or intermediate controls”. How does a Retailer protect itself? One method is through PCI Compliance. Does that sound contradictory to that common perception?
Join Cisco on April 16th, 2013 10:00am PT for a webcast on PCI compliance and security with guests from Ponemon Institute, Verizon Business and PCI Security Standards Council.
As part of the planning of the webcast, we sat down with Bart McGlothin and Christian Janoff from Cisco’s security team to discuss PCI compliance and security for retail and get some answers. Here’s what we learned:
As a frequent attendee of the US RSA Conference in the past, this year I had the opportunity to work in the Cisco booth on the exhibition floor. This year’s RSA event was very busy, it seemed like there was a continuous flow of people and energy across the show floor. I had the pleasure of staffing Cisco’s Compliance Solution demonstration where we test people’s knowledge of PCI compliance. This is one of my favorite demos/stations to operate because it rewards people for their hard learned knowledge and skill on the topic with a prize instead of the normal random drawing (if you get the highest score in the shortest amount of time, you’re the winner!). I was surprised by the number of attendees that did not want to take our quiz. Was it a fear of being put on the spot? Or were they just not very knowledgeable about PCI? I consider the RSA conference as a security minded conference and thought a solid business driver like PCI Compliance would be front and center for many security professionals that often have to justify security purchases. Further, given the proliferation of data breaches across all industry segments, this should be a top of mind topic. Many industries outside of retail accept credit cards for payment of services and products (e.g., hospital co-pays, DMV fees, city permits, Insurance payments, hotels, transit stations) so when all three days of the quiz were won by retailers I was a bit surprised. I would have expected a few security vendors or professionals to have won at least one day! Read More »
Anyone who has been involved with compliance knows that simplifying complexity is the key to maintaining a secure and compliant organization. It’s become quite apparent that sustaining compliance is a marathon, and the journey must be travelled with vigilance. This is not something that is an endpoint or a task, that once accomplished, can be shelved and forgotten; therefore, it is very helpful for merchants, who wish to become compliant or maintain compliance, to purchase solutions that are “certified.”
The fact that you are purchasing a product that’s already been validated as secure and “capable” of being compliant reduces the complexity and uncertainty associated with big-ticket items. Adding new credit card readers or a payment application in your stores is expensive, and knowing that these products are validated by the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Council gives merchants confidence that they’re making a wise and secure decision. Read More »
Having attended the annual North American PCI Community Meeting for many years and being involved with PCI compliance since 2008, I’ve heard firsthand the challenges merchants face in their quest for PCI compliance (see Blog: Compliance Headaches Continue). However, thinking back to the PCI Community Meeting last week in Orlando, I was intrigued by how this year’s keynote speaker fit into the program. How could an extreme adventurer, such as Jamie Clarke, rather than a hacker or data breach expert provide the necessary perspective on compliance? As I attended sessions and networked with over a thousand of my peers from 17 countries, it dawned on me: The collective PCI state of mind is reflective of the maturity of the journey and a fresh optimism emerges as we near the top of the mountain after a very long and arduous journey.
Here are some of the highlights from this year’s meeting.
PCI SSC General Manager Bob Russo presented the annual PCI State of the Industry. The PCI standards continue to mature and merchants are increasing the focus to protect cardholder data. The overall tone was more about ‘tweak’ than change.
The opportunity for training from the PCI Council continues to increase with several new programs including a Qualified Integrators and Resellers (QIR) program and a Payment Card Industry Professional (PCIP) certification.
The Special Interest Groups (SIGs) are going strong, which again speaks to the maturity of the standard. We are seeing ongoing clarity, rather than new initiatives. The SIGs leverage valuable business and technical experiences from PCI Participating Organizations (POs). Over 460 POs were in attendance. Our key candidates for the 2013 SIGs are Cardholder Data Discovery and Guidance on Logging. However, there are 7 candidates up for voting.