PCI Compliance Password Requirements | Best Practices to Know
PCI compliance password requirements as mandated by the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) are clearly stated within Requirement 8 of Version 3.0 of the PCI DSS standards. Specifically, the PCI compliance password requirements are the following:
- Require a minimum length of at least seven characters.
- Contain both numeric and alphabetic characters.
- Users to change passwords at least every 90 days.
- Password parameters are set to require that new passwords cannot be the same as the four previously used passwords.
- First-time passwords for new users, and reset passwords for existing users, are set to a unique value for each user and changed after first use
- User accounts are temporarily locked-out after not more than six invalid access attempts.
- Once a user account is locked out, it remains locked for a minimum of 30 minutes or until a system administrator resets the account.
- System/session idle time out features have been set to 15 minutes or less.
- Passwords are protected with strong cryptography during transmission and storage.
The PCI compliance password requirements are relatively straightforward, and can be easily set within any of today’s directory services, such as Active Directory. For other systems that do not utilize a directory service for authentication, it’s imperative that passwords are established with the above baseline parameters for helping ensure the safety of the cardholder data environment.
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