PCI DSS Compliance Requirements for Financial Institutions
PCI compliance requirements for financial institutions – banks, insurance companies, mortgage brokers/agencies, and others – requires such entities to put in place comprehensive internal controls, along with supporting documentation. It can be an incredibly challenging and daunting task – but it doesn’t have to be – so long as you have a solid understanding of the overall intent and merit of PCI DSS compliance, along with helpful tools for getting you past the finish line. Financial institutions are some of the most heavily regulated sectors in the U.S. economy, thus the PCI DSS mandates are yet another layer of regulatory requirements that require immediate attention.
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8 Essential Things Financial Institutions Need to Know About PCI Compliance
Understanding important elements of PCI compliance will ultimately save you hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars on annual costs associated with the PCI DSS standards. Financial institutions are often storing, processing, and transmitting cardholder data, and because of this, not only is PCI DSS compliance mandatory, but additional consideration must be taken with other existing compliance mandates and the relationship to consumer data that FI’s store. With that said, let’s dig into some important things you need to know.
1. Begin with a Scoping & Readiness Assessment. A PCI DSS scoping & readiness assessment – which can be performed by internal personnel or a seasoned PCI DSS professional – is absolutely necessary for FI’s who have never undertaken this type of compliance mandate. After all, you want to assess and confirm scope, identify gaps and deficiencies, put in place a structured roadmap with deliverables and milestones, and more.
That’s exactly what you’ll get out of a PCI DSS scoping & readiness assessment – when properly performed. Scope creep for compliance often begins by not truly understanding the boundaries of an audit and the remediation efforts that must be performed for becoming compliant, so keep that in mind.
2. Understand the Relationship with Credit Cards and Consumer Data (i.e., PII, etc.). There are more than likely a number of scenarios where FIs are storing both cardholder data and sensitive consumer data, which essentially falls under the larger umbrella of Personally Identifiable Information (PII). While the lawyers, pundits, and academia world like to argue as to what the definition of PII is and what is constitutes – and there’s quite a bit of chatter on this topic – we can all agree that any type of information relating to consumer information needs to be protected, no question about it.
Thus, not only does PCI compliance have crossover applicability to the likes of numerous banking and financial regulations, it also allows the PCI standards to be used as a great starting point in terms of baseline information security best practices.
3. Policies and Procedures are Critical for Compliance. If any industry is well aware of the layers of bureaucracy, it’s banking and financial, which also means you’re well aware of the importance of documentation – specifically – policies and procedures. Sure, they’re exhausting to develop, and can be quite costly, and it’s why FI’s download our PCI Policy Packets & Compliance Toolkits for banking & financial services entities at pcipolicyportal.com. Everything you need for PCI compliance in terms of documentation is right there for you, ultimately resulting in big savings in terms of operational man-hours.
4. Expect Technical Remediation to be Performed. FI’s new to the PCI DSS framework will without question have a number of technical “to do” items on their task list, and that’s largely because the PCI mandates are comprehensive, covering a wide-range of information security domains. We already spoke about the importance of PCI policies and procedures, but consider the following technical/security requirements found within the current Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards framework:
- Provisioning and hardening of firewall rules/configuration files
- Server hardening
- File Integrity Monitoring (FIM)
- Two-factor/multifactor authentication
- Audit logs and audit trails
- Vulnerability scanning
- Penetration testing
- Intrusion Detection System (IDS)
- And more
As you can clearly see, it’s a healthy list of initiatives, many of which can take time and money to successfully implement. Luckily, Materdei Consulting, LLC has years of experience helping FI’s in becoming PCI compliant. We know what tools you need to implement, what vendors you should turn to, and more. It’s just another reason why companies all throughout North America turn to us for industry leading PCI solutions and consulting services. Visit pcipolicyportal.com today to learn more.
5. Assessing Risk is Mandatory. So what’s one of the most important initiatives any business should be doing ever year, regardless of industry, size, or sector? Assessing risk, that’s what! How can a company reasonably expect to survive and move forward without understanding short-term and long-term issues, risks and threats to the organization? Risk assessments, when performed properly, are very beneficial and insightful indeed, and they’re also a strict requirement for many merchants and service providers seeking to become PCI DSS compliant. Our PCI Policy Packets & Compliance Toolkits for banking & financial services offer a comprehensive and easy-to-use risk assessment packet.
6. The Importance of Security Awareness Training. Do you train your employees on a regular basis regarding essential security threats, issues, and topics for today’s complex and digitally driven economy we all live in? If not, now’s the time, because much like risk assessments, security awareness training is a best practice every business should be performing, and it’s also a mandate for many merchants and service providers. pcipolicyportal.com offers an in-depth, high-quality security awareness training packet consisting of a PowerPoint presentation and a training manual – thus giving you two options for PCI security awareness training. Knowledge is power – all the more reason to perform annual PCI security awareness training.
7. Annual Compliance is Mandatory. There’s no such thing as a one-and-done scenario for PCI DSS compliance for any business. While becoming PCI DSS compliant is a monumental milestone to meet, staying compliant year after year is often a more taxing, time-consuming, and challenging process. The world of regulatory compliance just continues to grow each year, with the PCI DSS framework often leading the way. With millions of businesses storing, processing, and/or transmitting cardholder data, the safety and security of credit card information is now more important than ever, so turn to the proven and trusted experts today at pcipolicyportal.com. Call us today at 424-274-1952 to learn more about our products, services, and solutions and how we can help FI’s become PCI DSS compliant.
8. Put in place “Continuous Monitoring”. As for mandatory PCI DSS compliance, the very best way to ensure one’s annual PCI certification is kept current is by putting in place a concept known as “Continuous Monitoring” – the practice of inspecting, assessing, changing and ultimately enhancing one’s internal controls at it relates to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards. Visit pcipolicyportal.com to learn more today.
Download PCI Compliance Toolkit today and get Compliant
Becoming PCI compliant for FI’s requires a tremendous amount of documentation – no question about it – and it’s why businesses in the banking and financial services sector turn to pcipolicyportal.com and instantly download the PCI Policy Packets & Compliance Toolkits for banking & financial services. Spending hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars on costly policy and procedures writing is not high on anybody’s wish list, so do what thousands of businesses have done since 2009, and that’s download the very best set of PCI policy and compliance documents today from pcipolicyportal.com.