The fluctuation of compliance

After this weekend, all retailers accepting payment card transactions will be expected to either use a specialized firewall for protecting their Web applications or to have completed a Web application software code review for finding and fixing vulnerabilities in these applications.

Companies that fail to implement either measure will be deemed to be out of compliance with PCI starting the Saturday the 30th of June.

When it comes to PCI compliance, it’s a fallacy that if an enterprise “ticks all the boxes’ it will be protected from attack. PCI compliant organizations can, and do, get breached.

This is because compliance fluctuates. Enterprises should be monitoring compliance levels over time, continuously, as this is what is critical to maintaining a secure working environment.

As such, effective of June 30th, PCI will require companies to provide evidence of quarterly internal vulnerability scans and both internal and external vulnerability scans after any significant network changes.

The new updates will also require the assignment of risk rankings to all vulnerabilities discovered during vulnerability scans, and evidence that all “high’ risk vulnerabilities discovered during scans are resolved.

Enterprises therefore need to evolve their standards and audit requirements to reflect this. By taking a unified security monitoring approach with active scanning and log-correlation enterprises can watch traffic in motion, in real-time, placing them ahead of the game when it comes to noticing anomalies and “high’ risk vulnerabilities.

Compliance thereby becomes an after-effect of a combination of good vulnerability management coupled with a strong configuration and event management strategy.

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