Thursday, April 16, 2009

Hackers Test Limits of Credit Card Security Standards

Brian Krebs writes on Security Fix:

The number, scale and sophistication of data breaches fueled by hackers last year is rekindling the debate over the efficacy of the credit card industry's security standards for safeguarding customer data.

All merchants that handle credit and debit card data are required to show that they have met the payment card industry data security standards (PCI DSS), a set of technical and operational requirements designed to safeguard cardholder information from theft or unauthorized access.

Yet, some of the most notable data breach incidents last year targeted companies that had recently been certified as compliant with those standards, raising the question of whether the standards go far enough, or if entities that experienced a breach are falling out of compliance with the practices that led to their certification.

In a recent hearing on PCI standards at a House Homeland Security Committee panel, experts from the retail sector charged that the entire PCI scheme is only a tool to shift risk off the banks and credit card companies' balance sheets.

More here.


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