New requirements for the secure design and development of modern payment software

The PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) published new requirements for the secure design and development of modern payment software.

PCI Software Security Standards

The PCI Secure Software Standard and the PCI Secure Lifecycle (Secure SLC) Standard are part of a new PCI Software Security Framework, which includes a validation program for software vendors and their software products and a qualification program for assessors. The programs will be launched later in 2019.

“Innovation in payments is moving at an incredible pace. Each advancement provides the industry the opportunity to develop applications more quickly and efficiently than before and to design software for new platforms for payment acceptance,” said PCI SSC Chief Technology Officer Troy Leach. “The new PCI Secure Software Standard and PCI Secure SLC Standard support this evolution in payment software practices by providing a dynamic way for developers to demonstrate their software protects payment data for the next generation of applications.”

PCI Software Security Standards expand beyond the scope of the Payment Application Data Security Standard (PA-DSS) for traditional payment software to address overall software security resiliency for modern payment software. Specifically:

  • The PCI Secure Software Standard outlines security requirements and assessment procedures to help ensure payment software adequately protects the integrity and confidentiality of payment transactions and data.
  • The PCI Secure SLC Standard outlines security requirements and assessment procedures for software vendors to validate how they properly manage the security of payment software throughout the entire software lifecycle.

These standards will replace the PA-DSS and listing when it is retired in 2022. In the meantime, there will be a gradual transition period for organizations with investments in PA-DSS.

The PCI Software Security Standards were developed with the input of a dedicated task force made up of payment card industry participants. PCI SSC Participating Organizations and assessors also reviewed and provided feedback on the standards via multiple request for comments (RFC) periods throughout the development process.

Steve Lipner, Executive Director of the Software Assurance Forum for Excellence in Code (SAFECode), participated in the PCI Software Security Task Force and said, “I was delighted to review the final version of the PCI Secure Software Lifecycle Standard. The document clearly reflects an adaptation of software security best practices to the needs of the payment card industry and its certification process and is well aligned with SAFECode’s principles and the concepts in SAFECode’s Fundamental Practices for Secure Software Development. I was particularly pleased to see the emphasis on integrating security into the software development process rather than attempting to assure security by after-the-fact testing.”