What PCI DSS 3.0 Means For Cloud Service Providers

What PCI DSS 3.0 Means For Cloud Service Providers

What PCI DSS 3.0 Means For Cloud Service Providers

The only constant is change. Earlier this month, the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council released version 3.0 of the PCI DSS standard (along with the accompany Payment Application Data Security Standard).  In it are a few key focus areas that will directly affect Cloud Service Providers (CSPs), which is why it makes good business sense to start thinking about version 3.0 right now. While some of the rules aren’t required for existing implementations until 2015, smart CSPs understand that customers will certainly be asking about the changes in 2014.

The most important change for CSPs in PCI DSS 3.0 is that they are required to provide a written agreement (or acknowledgement) to their customers of their explicit responsibilities for supporting the standard. PCI DSS 2.0 had some requirements for service providers, but 3.0 will require that CSPs develop specific, contract-level documentation of their commitments. The idea here is to eliminate the expensive finger-pointing exercise many organizations go through when something as simple as a disaster recovery or backup site, or when an audit finds expected portions of the standard are not met, or in the investigations following a data breach.

Another important change in 3.0 is the need for explicit definitions around the shared responsibility of service providers who provide PCI DSS-compliant environments and services to their customers. There will be no getting off the hook anymore.

This version of the PCI standard will also cause CSPs to take a look at the rest of their compliance offering-related infrastructure and processes — and sooner is better than later.  Here’s one change to watch for: the pen test requirement.  With version 3.0, the cardholder data environment has to be explicitly tested quarterly by an approved scanning vendor to verify that it is properly separated from other network environments.  It is critical that CSPs either work this requirement into their process and infrastructure set to make sure that the environment matches the new data security requirements.

There are also a host of smaller changes and clarifications that will be important to CSPs and thus deserve at least a mention here.  They include:

  • Increased education and awareness for personnel involved in managing the infrastructure and applications for the payment chain;
  • Specific clarifications around the use of encryption and cryptographic keys;
  • Account access procedures that limit CSP access to card payment infrastructure;
  • More detailed guidance about allowed password use;
  • More focused description of the limits of privileged and standard user access controls;
  • New access guidelines for CSPs that have remote access to their customers’ payment card data environments; and
  • New physical access requirements for onsite personnel
  • Increased visibility into the creation of new accounts and escalation of privileges by users with root and administrative access

As I said before, these changes do not need to be implemented until 2015, but affected CSPs should develop plans well ahead of time to ensure they can meet the new requirements. Doing so will give them a clear first-mover advantage in an increasingly security-focused market.

So, whatever your Cloud service offerings, getting ahead of the new PCI DSS requirements will enable you to both differentiate your offerings from the competition and give your customers greater comfort on the cloud security front. Don’t drag your heels addressing the additional requirements; instead, embrace the new PCI DSS standard in ways that will drive new business and also expand opportunities with your existing customers.

c-j-radford

By C.J Radford,

C.J. Radford joined Vormetric in March 2013 as vice president of cloud, a newly created leadership position that is tasked with leading the company’s cloud strategy and growth via strategic partnerships with cloud service providers (CSPs). He came to Vormetric from Symantec Corporation, where he spent more than five years driving business development and new strategic growth initiatives within the rapidly evolving CSP market. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Oregon and an MBA from the University of California, Berkeley.

Follow Us!

CloudTweaks

Established in 2009, CloudTweaks.com is recognized as one of the leading authorities in cloud computing information. Most of the excellent CloudTweaks articles are provided by our own paid writers, with a small percentage provided by guest authors from around the globe, including CEOs, CIOs, Technology bloggers and Cloud enthusiasts. Our goal is to continue to build a growing community offering the best in-depth articles, interviews, event listings, whitepapers, infographics and much more...
Follow Us!

Latest posts by CloudTweaks (see all)

One Response to What PCI DSS 3.0 Means For Cloud Service Providers

Cloud Infographic: Disaster Recovery

Cloud Infographic: Disaster Recovery

Cloud Infographic: Disaster Recovery  Business downtime can be detrimental without a proper disaster recovery plan in place. Only 6% of businesses that experience downtime without a plan will survive long term. Less than half of all businesses that experience a disaster are likely to reopen their doors. There are many causes of data loss and…

5 Ways The Internet of Things Will Drive Cloud Growth

5 Ways The Internet of Things Will Drive Cloud Growth

5 Ways The Internet of Things Will Drive Cloud Growth The Internet of Things is the latest term to describe the interconnectivity of all our devices and home appliances. The goal of the internet of things is to create universal applications that are connected to all of the lights, TVs, door locks, air conditioning, and…

Using Big Data To Make Cities Smarter

Using Big Data To Make Cities Smarter

Using Big Data To Make Cities Smarter The city of the future is impeccably documented. Sensors are used to measure air quality, traffic patterns, and crowd movement. Emerging neighborhoods are quickly recognized, public safety threats are found via social networks, and emergencies are dealt with quicklier. Crowdsourcing reduces commuting times, provides people with better transportation…

The Education Revolution: Cloud In The Classroom

The Education Revolution: Cloud In The Classroom

The Education Revolution: Cloud In The Classroom With the back-to-school season now upon us, parents, students and teachers everywhere are once again struggling with the perpetual challenge of making kids job-ready in a high-speed and fast-changing environment. There is little doubt in anyone’s mind that information technology plays a central role in all areas of life…

Cloud Infographic: Most Used Cloud Apps

Cloud Infographic: Most Used Cloud Apps

Cloud app and analytics company, Netskope released its quarterly Cloud Report. The new report reveals that enterprise employees are using an average of 397 different cloud apps (most of which are unsanctioned), when IT estimated they have 40-50 — that’s a tenfold underestimation. Below is an infographic provided courtesy of the group at Netskope which goes into further detail.…

CONNECT TO THE CLOUD

 

Cloud Logo Sponsors

hp Logo CityCloud-PoweredByOpenstack-Bluesquare_logo_100x100-01
cisco_logo_100x100 vmware citrix100
Site 24x7


Contributor Spotlight

Established in 2009, CloudTweaks is recognized as one of the leading influencers in cloud computing, big data and internet of things (IoT) information. Our goal is to continue to build our growing information portal, by providing the best in-depth articles, interviews, event listings, whitepapers, infographics and much more.

Contact

CloudTweaks Media
Phone: 1 (212) 763-0021

Branded Content Programs

Advertising