Top 12 PCI Compliance Solutions

Nimrod Iny
|
Mar 21, 2022

As the character Don Draper from the classic TV series “Mad Men” once said, “change is neither good nor bad, it simply is”. Payment card technology brought with it countless new opportunities but also countless new risks. In order to tackle those risks a new ecosystem of protection tools was created with its own complexities and problems. To govern this ecosystem, security standards such as the PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) were created. Non-strict adherence to the PCI DSS requirements, means the loss of the right to use credit and debit cards.

What is needed for PCI DSS compliance?

Processing of payment card transactions involves the creation and storage of sensitive data. The PCI DSS stipulates requirements that ensure the safe and secure storage of such data. 

Types of data created during payment card transactions

There are two types of data which are generated during payment card transactions, each with its own  PCI DSS regulations:

  • Authentication data which is not allowed to be stored and must be instantly erased from any storage system. This includes: Card Verification Value (CVV); Primary Account Number  (PAN) and Personal Identification Number (PIN)
  • Non-authentication data that may be stored and processed in the condition that the organization protects that information by adhering to security standards. This data includes the cardholder’s name, card expiration date and service code. 

The 12 requirements laid out by the PCI DSS

The PCI DSS specifies 12 obligatory requirements every seller/ payment card processing services must fully meet. These 12 requirements are usually grouped under 6 goals:

1. Build and Maintain a Secure Network 

  • Installing and maintaining a firewall to scan all network traffic and block access attempts from untrusted networks.
  • Default security configuration parameters (such as vendor supplied passwords) must be changed and modified on existing and new systems.

2. Protect Cardholder Data 

  • PCI DSS requires protecting cardholder’s data by using methods such as encryption, hashing, masking, truncation and erasing when needed.
  • Cardholder’s data should be encrypted when stored and when transferred. In any event where a cardholder’s data is transmitted across open, public networks, it should be encrypted using strong encryption standards (SSH, TLS etc).

3. Maintain a Vulnerability Management Program

  • Installation of regularly updated antivirus/ antimalware applications on all systems (local and remote). The regular update should keep these applications up to date and able to supply protection against old known virus/malwares and new ones.   
  • All applications and systems must constantly be updated. The latest up-to-date security patches should be immediately installed to fix any kind of vulnerability.

4. Implement Strong Access Control Measures 

  • PCI DSS requires restricting access to cardholder data only to authorized personnel on a need-to-know basis. Furthermore a record of each person, their role, and access privileges must be kept.
  • A unique identification (ID) must be assigned to each person with access to system components, in order to permit access identification, authentication, record and accountability of access to data.
  • Physical access to cardholder data or systems containing this data must be restricted.

5. Regularly Monitor and Test Networks 

  • All access to cardholder data and network resources must be constantly tracked and monitored, i.e a system log should be maintained to track user activities.
  • Each and every security system, process and software must be frequently and regularly checked and tested in order to actively detect weak points and vulnerabilities. 

6. Maintain an Information Security Policy 

  • Managing an information security policy for all personnel (employees, vendors, contractors etc). This policy should include, for example, regular security briefings, making sure all personnel understand their responsibility to protect the sensitive data and comprehensive background checks. 

Top 12 PCI Compliance Solutions

We will now discuss the top 12 solutions for ensuring PCI DSS compliance.

SIEM (Security Information and Event Management) Solutions

1. EventLog Analyzer

Pricing: Free Edition, Premium Edition - $595 ; Distributed Edition - $2,495

EventLog Analyzer encrypts and retains all of the log data created by network systems, applications, and devices, in a centralized repository. It’s suited for businesses of all sizes. However, log correlating is complicated and there isn't a good security integration when it comes to cybersecurity. 

2. Crowdstrike Falcon X

Pricing: Starts at $25.00 per endpoint per year

CrowdStrike Falcon X is a cloud-delivered endpoint protection service with detection, response and threat hunting capabilities. The solution is designed for businesses of all sizes but may be cost-prohibitive for small businesses. Moreover the system demands high bandwidth resources.

3. Core Security Event Manager

Pricing: Free versions/ annual license that starts at $9,000 

Event Manager streamlines data from different sources into one central location and then merges and normalizes it to distinguish between harmful activities and innocent ones. It is suited to small and mid-size businesses. It lacks the ability to drill down into individual data points.

Cloud Data Security Posture Management (DSPM): 

4. Polar Security

Pricing: Undisclosed

Polar Security’s DSPM focuses on smart and optimal cloud storage security management to prevent data leaks that could lead to PCI non-compliance. Its unique technology automatically detects, maps and labels all important & sensitive data (including shadow data that often slip under the radar). Its DSPM platform enables automatic mapping, allowing you to pre-emptively detect known and unknown sensitive data vulnerabilities and use this information to optimize security resources deployment. The solution is suited for businesses of all sizes from all fields.

Network security solutions

5. Restorepoint

Pricing: Undisclosed

Restorepoint allows automated network configuration backup, compliance audits, record access to network devices and network inventory tracking. It is suited to businesses of all sizes, however the system can be quite complicated, requiring experienced operators.

6. Reflectiz

Pricing: Undisclosed

Reflectiz uses a non-intrusive SaaS solution to detect and mitigate security threats. It is best suited to Financial Services, Retail, eCommerce, Hospital & Health Care, Travel & Tourism. The system’s UX/ UI needs some improvement.

Endpoint Protection solutions 

7. Intercept X Endpoint 

 Pricing: Between $20 to $79 per user/ per year.

This is an endpoint detection and response tool. It uses deep learning to protect against known/ unknown malware attacks. It is suited for businesses of all sizes but it does not support Linux workstations.

8. Checkpoint Harmony

Pricing: First year free. Basic subscription begins at $36 per year.

Check Point Harmony endpoint prevents, detects and mitigates targeted attacks by malware. The solution is suited for businesses of all sizes. It needs increased documentation capabilities and can sometimes become unresponsive or slow to process a query.

Configuration management and access control solutions

9. Spectral 

Pricing: Undisclosed

Spectral is a cybersecurity solution that uses a scanning engine, AI and detectors to detect harmful security errors in code, configurations and other artifacts. It is best suited for developers and DevOps. A stronger report capability is needed with many more options, also some UI elements cannot be customized.

10. Netwrix change tracker 

Pricing: Undisclosed

Netwrix change tracker tracks changes in configurations, files, registries, settings and performance of all devices. It is suited for financial institutions, healthcare organizations, government agencies and educational institutions. The tool's documentation is overly scattered. 

Secure File Sharing solutions  

11. GoAnywhere Managed File Transfer

Pricing: Free version/Premium Starting from $1,995.

GoAnywhere MFT manages and secures all file transfers and related processing. It has auditing and reporting features and is best suited for all types of international organizations. The tool’s

documentation options are lacking and so is end user guidance.

12. Maytech Quatrix

Pricing: (per user/per month) 2-9 Users: Starting at $ 12.90;  10-49 Users: Starting at $ 9.70; 50 – Unlimited users: customized price.

Quatrix by Maytech is a worldwide enterprise file sharing tool. It offers security options, workflow automation, and rich audit. Its volume discount system is especially beneficial for larger teams. The UX could be improved and made more visually appealing.

How to improve PCI Compliance - summary and conclusions

To sum up, every organization that wants to use payment cards must comply with PCI DSS regulations relating to all sensitive data (access control, security & vulnerability assessment, multiple protection mechanisms that are constantly updated etc.).  

Organizations today create huge amounts of data that spread all over their systems. Moreover much of that data comes in the form of unknown shadow data. One of the colossal challenges for anyone who tries to comply with PCI DSS is locating, gathering and organizing the relevant data.

Cloud Data Security Posture Management (DSPM) by Polar Security provides a unique and sophisticated solution to this challenge - DPSM automatically detects, maps and labels all important and sensitive data (including shadow data). 

Using Polar Security’s powerful solution allows  enterprise companies to quickly and easily understand where to focus their security resources, thus dramatically optimizing data protection and compliance with PCI DSS requirements.

Polar security-The First Automated Cloud-Native Data Security & Compliance Platform
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