PCI DSS 3.1 released

The PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) published PCI Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) Version 3.1 and supporting guidance. The revision includes minor updates and clarifications, and addresses vulnerabilities within the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption protocol that can put payment data at risk.

Version 3.1 is effective immediately. PCI DSS Version 3.0 will be retired on 30 June 2015.

NIST identified SSL as not being acceptable for the protection of data due to inherent weaknesses within the protocol. Upgrading to a current, secure version of TLS, the successor protocol to SSL, is the only known way to remediate these vulnerabilities, which have been exploited by browser attacks such as POODLE and BEAST.

To address this risk, PCI DSS 3.1 updates requirements 2.2.3, 2.3 and 4.1 to remove SSL and early1 TLS as examples of strong cryptography. The revisions are effective immediately, but impacted requirements have a sunset date to allow for organizations with affected systems to implement the changes:

  • SSL and early TLS cannot be used as security controls to protect payment data after 30 June 2016.
  • Prior to this date, existing2 implementations that use SSL and/or early TLS must have a formal risk mitigation and migration plan in place. Guidance on interim risk mitigation approaches, migration recommendations and alternative options for strong cryptographic protocols is outlined in the PCI SSC Information Supplement: Migrating from SSL and Early TLS.
  • Effective immediately, new3 implementations must not use SSL or early TLS.
  • Point-of-sale (POS)/Point-of-interaction (POI) terminals (devices such as magnetic card readers or chip card readers that enable a consumer to make a purchase) that can be verified as not being susceptible to all known exploits for SSL and early TLS may continue using these protocols as a security control after 30 June 2016.