How to handle PCI-DSS in software development?

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Written by
COO at Inoxoft, former .Net Software Engineer
Pub: Jan 24, 2023Upd: Jan 24, 2023

PCI-DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) is a set of security standards created to ensure that all companies that accept, process, store or transmit credit card information maintain a secure environment. In software development, it is important to follow these standards in order to protect sensitive financial data and ensure compliance with industry regulations.

To ensure compliance with PCI-DSS, it is essential to implement a robust security program that incorporates

  • regular risk assessments,
  • security testing,
  • incident response planning,
  • regular security training for employees and contractors,
  •  regular security reviews to ensure that the program is effective and that any issues are identified and addressed in a timely manner.

How to handle PCI-DSS in software development?

One of the key components of PCI-DSS is the use of secure software development practices. This includes:

  • implementing secure coding techniques (e.g. input validation and error handling, to prevent common vulnerabilities such as SQL injection and cross-site scripting 
  • the use of secure communication protocols, such as HTTPS, to protect sensitive data as it is transmitted over networks

Another aspect of PCI-DSS is the use of secure data storage and management practices, including 

  • the use of encryption to protect sensitive data at rest and in transit, as well as the use of secure key management to control access to encryption keys.
  • the use of secure data backup and disaster recovery procedures to ensure that data can be recovered in the event of an incident.

PCI-DSS also requires companies to implement a variety of administrative controls to protect against unauthorized access to sensitive data:

  • the use of access controls and monitoring to detect and prevent unauthorized access,
  • the use of firewalls and intrusion detection systems to protect against network-based attacks.

Another important aspect of PCI-DSS is the requirement for regular security assessments and penetration testing to identify and remediate vulnerabilities, specifically 

  • regular vulnerability scanning to identify potential vulnerabilities,
  • penetration testing to identify actual vulnerabilities
  • validation of the effectiveness of security controls.

In summary, handling PCI-DSS in software development requires following best practices in software development, secure data storage, and management, implementing security controls, and regular security assessments, penetration testing, and incident response planning. Keep in mind that these standards are constantly evolving and it’s important to stay up to date with the latest guidance from industry organizations such as the PCI Security Standards Council.

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