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Attaining PCI Compliance with a Data Security Platform

|Content Specialist

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a set of comprehensive security regulations and standards designed to protect sensitive credit card data. The PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) is a consortium of major credit card companies, including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, and JCB. PCI regulations apply to any organization that processes, stores, or transmits payment card data. 


The primary objectives of PCI DSS are to secure cardholder data, reduce the risk of data security breaches, and enhance overall payment card system security. Compliance with PCI DSS is designed to protect sensitive financial data and maintain customer and stakeholder trust. However, it is important to note that compliance is not the responsibility of the independent PCI SSC. Instead, individual payment brands and acquirers are responsible for enforcing compliance. 

What are the PCI Data Security Regulations?

The twelve PCI data security requirements are organized into six overarching goals.

  1. Build and Maintain a Secure Network and System:
    • Requirement 1: Install and maintain a firewall configuration to protect cardholder data.
    • Requirement 2: Do not use vendor-supplied defaults for system passwords and other security parameters.
  2. Protect Cardholder Data:
    • Requirement 3: Protect stored cardholder data.
    • Requirement 4: Encrypt transmission of cardholder data across open, public networks.
  3. Maintain a Vulnerability Management Program:
    • Requirement 5: Protect all systems against malware and update antivirus software or programs regularly.
    • Requirement 6: Develop and maintain secure systems and applications.
  4. Implement Strong Access Control Measures:
    • Requirement 7: Restrict access to cardholder data by the business on a need-to-know basis.
    • Requirement 8: Identify and authenticate access to system components.
    • Requirement 9: Restrict physical access to cardholder data.
  5. Regularly Monitor and Test Networks:
    • Requirement 10: Track and monitor all access to network resources and cardholder data.
    • Requirement 11: Regularly test security systems and processes.
  6. Maintain an Information Security Policy: 
    • Requirement 12: Maintain a policy that addresses information security for all personnel.


These regulations encompass many data security practices, from protecting data in transit and at rest to ensuring that only authorized individuals have access. Compliance is crucial to effectively securing payment card data and, by extension, contributing to broader data security practices within an organization.

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How PCI Relates to Data Security

Data Protection: The primary concern is safeguarding sensitive payment card data, including credit card numbers, expiration dates, and cardholder names. 


Access Control: Access controls limit who can access payment card data, ensuring that only authorized personnel can view or handle sensitive data.


Data Encryption: Requires the encryption of payment card data during transmission and storage. 


Regular Auditing & Monitoring: Continuous monitoring and auditing systems that handle payment card data. This real-time monitoring is also a best practice in broader data security, as it helps detect and respond to security threats and breaches promptly.


Security Policy and Procedures: Developing and maintaining comprehensive information security policies and procedures, including defining and implementing security policies to protect data assets.


Vendor Management: Secure management of third-party vendors with access to payment card data.


Incident Response: Specific requirements for incident response planning and execution. 


In essence, PCI DSS is a specialized framework within the larger context of data security. While it focuses primarily on payment card data, its principles and requirements align with best practices for safeguarding sensitive information, making it an essential part of an organization’s overall data security strategy. Complying with PCI DSS ensures payment card data security and contributes to a robust data security posture.

PCI Compliance with Satori

Satori’s data security platform provides solutions that enable organizations to comply with the PCI regulations. Here are some of the ways that Satori can help ensure compliance: 

  1. Data Access Controls: Just-in-time and self-service access controls, enable organizations to define and enforce access control policies on sensitive data. PCI requires that cardholder data is “need to know.” Access to sensitive data is limited based on user identities and roles. Using fine-grained access control ensures that only those individuals with specified roles are granted access to this data. The automatic application of these policies ensures that sensitive data is secured and compliant. 
  2. Data Discovery and Classification: Satori continuously and automatically scans all databases, data warehouses, and data lakes, so that even if data is siloed, sensitive data is located. Knowing the location of sensitive data is necessary to ensure its protection. PCI regulations require that all primary account numbers (PAN) are encrypted, this requires that they are discoverable and correctly classified.  
  3. Dynamic Data Masking: According to the PCI regulations all cardholder data must be encrypted whenever it is sent across multiple channels i.e. payment processors, home office from local stores, etc. Satori provides dynamic masking capabilities that anonymize sensitive cardholder data according to security policies. Automatic masking does not depend on the underlying database and does not require additional code. 
  4. Data Access Monitoring: PCI requires extensive and up-to-date data access logs. Every access to cardholder data and PAN must have a corresponding log entry. Satori’s data access manager monitors all user access logs to record how often and by whom sensitive PAN and cardholder data is accessed.  
  5. Data Governance: Satori supports data governance practices by providing a centralized platform for managing data security and access control policies, another important aspect of PCI DSS compliance.

Achieving PCI DSS compliance involves not only implementing the right technologies but also maintaining rigorous policies and practices. Organizations need to undergo assessments, audits, and validations to ensure compliance with the specific requirements of PCI DSS. Satori’s capabilities are valuable to your PCI compliance strategy by providing essential security features and controls.

Benefits of Using Satori to Meet PCI Compliance

Satori’s Data Security Platform provides a streamlined path to easily meeting PCI requirements. It seamlessly integrates into your existing data infrastructure, offering flexibility and scalability. Organizations can swiftly implement essential security measures to restrict access, monitor payment card data usage, and enforce stringent security policies. Satori helps organizations save valuable time and resources by simplifying the PCI compliance journey, making it a cost-effective solution.

Enhanced Operational Efficiency: Satori enhances operational efficiency by automating data access management, eliminating the need for manual permissions. With frictionless self-service and just-in-time access controls, data engineers can redirect their efforts from searching for sensitive data and managing access permissions to more strategic tasks. This improves productivity and reduces the time and resources needed to achieve and maintain PCI compliance, ensuring that your organization remains focused on its core objectives.

Cost-Effective Compliance: While compliance is imperative for PCI-regulated entities, cost considerations are vital. Satori offers an efficient solution to help organizations achieve PCI compliance without burdening engineering resources. Integrating Satori as an add-on to your existing data infrastructure reduces the DevOps, data engineering, and security engineering hours required for compliance implementation and monitoring. This streamlined approach conserves resources and reduces overall costs, making PCI compliance attainable without significant financial strain.

Discover more about the Advantages of Implementing a Data Security Platform and How Automated Access Control Enhances Data Security and Trust.


Satori’s Data Security Platform offers a comprehensive and efficient solution for organizations seeking PCI compliance. By seamlessly integrating into existing data technology stacks and automating crucial data security measures, Satori simplifies the compliance journey, enhances operational productivity, and reduces costs. This ensures that payment card data remains secure and frees up valuable resources for organizations to focus on their core objectives. With Satori, PCI compliance becomes more than just a regulatory requirement; it’s a strategic advantage that bolsters security, fosters efficiency and instills trust in customers and stakeholders. 


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About the author
|Content Specialist

Lisa is a content specialist with an academic background, blending strong analytical and communication skills, to develop engaging instructional content. Lisa has held positions in higher education and public policy and environmental think tanks.

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