PCI DSS Quick and Dirty?

I recently received a tweet titled “PCI DSS Compliance – Quick and Dirty”. I think it is safe to say that such a title is bound to grab immediate attention of anyone that has been associated with PCI DSS in one form or another. I immediately clicked the link on the tweet which took me to this page.

Not sure what the tweet’s originator meant to convey…  Neither am I  sure there is anyone that knows or has a quick and dirty approach to PCI DSS Compliance. Not unless perhaps, yours is a highly mature Security and Data Protection program…. I mean really high, perhaps the 90th percentile or higher.   PCI DSS being perhaps the most prescriptive security standard out there, the reality is that most organizations will have a fair bit of work to do before they can claim compliance.

The link on the tweet points to the “Prioritized Approach for PCI DSS”. The document was put out by PCI SSC to assist merchants and Service Providers in undertaking a prioritized remediation effort when they may have gaps in a large number of control requirements.  As the document says, the prioritized approach was developed based on extensive feedback from assessments, breaches and investigations, among other things.

Quoting from the document itself… “It is not intended as a substitute, short cut or stop-gap approach to PCI DSS compliance”.

And then, there is this quote … “To achieve PCI DSS compliance, an organization must meet all PCI DSS requirements, regardless of the order in which they are satisfied or whether the organization seeking compliance follows the PCI DSS Prioritized Approach”.

That said, as a security practitioner, I really wish there will come a day when compliance with a standard like PCI DSS can be quick and dirty for most organizations.


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Kamal Govindaswamy

Posted on

May 25, 2010