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What is PCI DSS and PCI Compliance?

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a set of security standards developed by Visa, MasterCard, JCB, Discover, and American Express in 2004. The Security Program, managed by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC), is designed to protect online and offline credit and debit card transactions from data theft and fraud.

Although PCI SSC does not have legal authority, any company performing credit or debit card transactions is expected to comply with the PCI DSS standard. PCI certification is seen as the safest way to protect confidential data and information while helping businesses build long-term, trust-based relationships with their customers.

Compliance with PCI DSS shall be assessed annually or periodically by the Qualified Security Assessor (QSA) firm authorized by PCI SSC. The Attestation of Compliance (AOC) may also be carried out by the Internal Security Assessor (ISA) for companies processing large volumes. Companies may declare compliance by completing a Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ) based on their credit and debit card transaction types and numbers.

The PCI DSS evaluates your card data and transactions with a set of requirements provided by the PCI SSC and specifies their compliance with the standard. A PCI DSS certified company is a valuable asset for consumers because it has documented its compliance with the PCI DSS standard and has documented that it safely processes credit cards under the standard.

On the other hand, the monetary and reputational incompatibility risks that may arise in the event of any data leakage should be sufficient to convince any company owner to take data security seriously.

Stealing or leaking sensitive customer information will have serious implications for companies. Payment card providers also fine companies that commit such infringements. This situation causes a decrease in company revenues, and the reputation of the companies is severely damaged.

After a breach of card data, companies may not process credit cards or be forced to pay more additional costs than the initial cost of PCI security compliance. This is why PCI compliance is a continuous and secure way to ensure the security of payment systems and protect sensitive data.

Since its inception, PCI DSS has undergone several revisions to keep up with developments in the cyber threat environment. While basic PCI compliance rules remain constant, new requirements are regularly introduced based on cybersecurity and information security changes.

History of PCI DSS

The latest version of PCI DSS, released in March 2022, is 4.0. The PCI DSS 4.0 version contains 12 requirements in 6 prime objectives and contains approximately 400 control items.

The history of the PCI DSS version is as follows;

  • PCI DSS version 1.0 was released on December 15, 2004.
  • PCI DSS version 1.1 was released in September 2006.
  • PCI DSS version 1.2 was released on October 1, 2008.
  • Version 1.2.1 of PCI DSS was released in August 2009.
  • PCI DSS version 2.0 was released in October 2010.
  • PCI DSS version 3.0 was released in November 2013.
  • PCI DSS version 3.1 was released in April 2015.
  • The PCI DSS version was released on April 3, 2016.
  • PCI DSS version 3.2.1 was released in May 2018.
  • PCI DSS version 4.0 was released in March 2022.

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