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January 18, 2024
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 min read

What to Look for in a PCI DLP Solution?

Understand the 12 requirements of PCI and what to look for in a PCI DLP solution

What to Look for in a PCI DLP Solution?
Calendar Icon White
January 18, 2024
Clock Icon
 min read

What to Look for in a PCI DLP Solution?

Understand the 12 requirements of PCI and what to look for in a PCI DLP solution


  • Strac offers SaaS and Endpoint DLP solutions for protecting sensitive data like cardholder/PCI data.
  • PCI DSS is a set of requirements for organizations that handle credit card data.
  • The 12 PCI DSS compliance requirements include measures such as firewalls, encryption, access control, and vulnerability scanning.
  • Achieving PCI compliance with Strac's DLP solutions enhances trust, improves security, and mitigates risks.
  • When looking for a PCI DLP solution, consider factors such as cloud, SaaS and endpoint data protection, accurate detection & remediation, and in-built auditing & reporting

Strac has developed SaaS and Endpoint DLP (Data Loss Prevention) solutions that are adept at discovering, classifying, and remediating sensitive data like cardholder/PCI data. Additionally, Strac ensures the security of sensitive card information on backend servers with its advanced tokenization technology. More insights about Strac's approach to protecting sensitive data like PII and credit card information can be found at their blog: Strac's blog on protecting sensitive data.

If you're seeking guidance on understanding PCI DSS, its applicability to your business, and how to achieve PCI compliance, this blog will be a valuable resource.

What is PCI DSS?

PCI DSS, or Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, is a set of requirements for organizations that handle credit card data. Its primary goal is to maintain a secure environment for credit card transactions. The standard is governed by the PCI Security Standards Council, founded by major financial brands such as Visa and MasterCard. The Council's website offers extensive resources and guidance for companies working towards PCI compliance.

What Constitutes the 12 PCI DSS Compliance Requirements?

The PCI DSS compliance requirements encompass a range of operational and technical measures, all aimed at the fundamental goal of protecting cardholder information.

  1. Setting Up and Upkeeping Firewalls: Firewalls serve as a defensive measure, preventing unauthorized and unrecognized entities from accessing company data.
  2. Updating Vendor-Provided Passwords and Enhancing Password Security: Default passwords that come with third-party hardware and software need to be changed as per PCI DSS. Companies should also adopt robust password management practices, including regular password changes, unique passwords for each account/device, and creating hard-to-guess passwords.
  3. Protection of Cardholder Information: PCI DSS outlines specific guidelines for the storage of cardholder data, necessitating encryption using designated algorithms and also encryption of the encryption keys. Regular audits are required to identify any unencrypted primary account numbers (PAN).
  4. Encryption of Data in Transit: Given the multiple stages of payment processing, it is crucial to encrypt cardholder data when it is being transmitted, and this should only occur to verified locations.
  5. Implementation of Anti-Virus Software: Installing and maintaining anti-virus software on all devices that handle PAN data is a basic yet essential requirement under PCI DSS, which also mandates regular updates to this software.
  6. Regular Software Updates: To address vulnerabilities as they are discovered, PCI DSS requires regular updates and patching of security software on devices involved in storing, processing, or transmitting cardholder data.
  7. Restricted Data Access Based on Necessity: Access to cardholder data should be limited to only those employees who need it for their job duties. Companies must adhere to the principles of least privilege and zero trust, and maintain detailed records of who has access to what data.
  8. Individual User IDs for Data Access: Each user accessing cardholder data must have a unique login, with the sharing of login credentials being prohibited.
  9. Controlled Physical Access to Cardholder Data: Physical storage locations for cardholder data should be secure, with access granted only to authorized individuals.
  10. Maintenance of Access Logs: Companies are required to document each instance of access to cardholder data and PAN, noting who accessed what data and when. Automated systems can be crucial in meeting this requirement efficiently.
  11. Routine Vulnerability Scanning: Regular scans to detect vulnerabilities in software, networks, and applications are mandated, along with periodic manual penetration testing.
  12. Documentation of Policies and Procedures: A detailed record of the flow of cardholder data and an inventory of all equipment and software involved in the handling of this data is necessary. These records should be supplemented by logs monitoring employee access to data, both physically and digitally.

These 12 requirements are integral to achieving PCI DSS compliance, each contributing to the overarching goal of ensuring the security and integrity of cardholder data.

Benefits of PCI Compliance with Strac's DLP Solutions

Achieving PCI DSS compliance with Strac brings several benefits:

  1. Enhanced Trust and Confidence: Complying with PCI DSS enhances your reputation and builds trust among customers and partners.
  2. Improved Security Posture: Strac's solutions help in meeting PCI DSS requirements, which in turn strengthens your overall cybersecurity defenses.
  3. Pathway to Compliance with Other Standards: Meeting PCI DSS standards positions you well for compliance with other regulations like HIPAA, GLBA, ISO 27001, SOC 2, DPDP and CCPA.
  4. Risk Mitigation: Non-compliance can lead to hefty fines and reputational damage, which Strac’s DLP solutions help avoid.

Starting with PCI Compliance

For effective PCI Compliance, a data-centric approach is key. Strac's DLP solutions offer a comprehensive method for data protection, auditing, and compliance, simplifying the process and ensuring thorough coverage.

What to Look for in a PCI DLP Solution

When searching for a PCI DLP solution, consider these factors:

  • SaaS & Cloud Data Protection: As more data moves to the cloud and SaaS apps, a solution like Strac’s that extends protection to cloud repositories is vital. Strac's SaaS DLP, Cloud DLP and Endpoint DLP will scan for PCI data and redact/mask/block/encrypt/delete PCI data from those places. Strac will also help you tokenize PCI data on your front end web applications and backend server. Read more on why and how to tokenize PCI data.
  • Structured and Unstructured Data Discovery: Strac’s ability to discover both types of data ensures complete data protection. Whether it is unstructured text in chat messages or documents like pdf, images (jpeg, png), word docs, excel spread sheets.
  • Accurate Detection/Remediation: Strac uses advanced machine learning technologies for autonomous data classification and protection, reducing the workload on IT teams. It is common for many DLP solutions to have high false-positives (low accuracy) creating burden on teams to review and ignore those false-positives. With Strac, that is not a problem.
  • In-built Auditing and Reporting: Strac automates reporting, essential for compliance audits and efficient monitoring. See all sensitive data discovered and remediated by Strac in Strac’s Vault with beautiful graphs and analytics results like which employees shared what sensitive data from which devices, etc.

In summary, Strac’s SaaS + Endpoint DLP solutions offer a comprehensive, efficient, and automated approach to achieving PCI DSS compliance, ensuring your organization's data is secure and your compliance needs are met.

Founder, Strac. ex-Amazon Payments Infrastructure (Widget, API, Security) Builder for 11 years.

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