Monday, November 16, 2009

PCI DSS: No Angel, but Certainly Not the Devil

Security luminaries Anton Chuvakin and Ben Rothke explain why 451 Group analyst Josh Corman is off his rocker when he compares PCI security to a devil and "No Child Left Behind."

 Fifty years ago, The Coasters had a top-10 hit with the song "Charlie Brown." The song is best known for the phrase "Why's everybody always pickin' on me?" Charlie Brown was a loveable character who was often beat up and picked on for no reason.

A Guide to Practical PCI Compliance

Far too many in the industry similarly see PCI as such a loser and criticize it relentlessly. In our article PCI Shrugged: Debunking Criticisms of PCI DSS from April 2009, we wrote that the PCI DSS is a valuable standard. We did not then, and do not now, feel that the PCI DSS is perfect, but it is in the best interest of the industry and consumers that it be maintained, developed and expanded as well as adapted to today's threats.

However, let's briefly step away from this debate and consider this: imagine a large distributed retailer that has somehow survived without investing in information security. Yes, they've updated antivirus subscriptions on their desktops and have added a firewall, but they haven't gone beyond that (it goes without saying that this said organization was consistently compromised by malicious hackers).

The advent of PCI worried this retailer and now they have to take security actions like encrypt, log, monitor, educate employees, and more. However, this retailer is now fighting PCI with all their strength since they believe that "PCI is too much security." Their worldview of security is that "no security" is "just enough security." CIO IT News

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