Can I Use PCI DSS Principles to Protect Other Data?

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Can I Use PCI DSS Principles to Protect Other Data?

To become PCI DSS compliant, you’re going to be investing a lot of time and money in building a secure infrastructure and supporting processes to meet PCI DSS security requirements. The PCI DSS is primarily concerned with the protection of cardholder data. What about all the other data that your company handles that has nothing to do with payments? Some of it may benefit from similar levels of protection.

By thinking beyond what you’re doing to meet PCI DSS requirements, you can leverage those security principles to build additional solutions that support your organization’s critical assets. You could do any of the following:

  • Encrypt all the network traffic inside your organization to ensure that only those who need to see the data can do so.
  • Protect all data at rest across your whole enterprise by using encryption and/or tokenization and ensuring that only those who are authorized to decrypt that data have access to it.
  • Protect all sensitive data at the point of capture (the point at which it enters your organization) by encrypting selected fields in the data record.
  • Keep security under your full control by encrypting data and managing the keys locally before sending data to any cloud service provider you use.
  • Implement a layered security approach so that your infrastructure doesn’t have a single vulnerable point of attack, which makes it much more difficult for an attacker (inside or outside your organization) to gain unauthorized access to your data.

If you adopt a security-conscious approach to all data and to data access within your organization, meeting the specific PCI DSS requirements is much simpler.

Note: This material is drawn from PCI Compliance & Data Protection for Dummies, Thales eSecurity Limited Edition, by Ian Hermon and Peter Spier.

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