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Over 20 years, changes in technology constantly make it more challenging to identify and control all aspects of the Cardholder Data Environment (CDE). PCI DSS gets regular updates to guide organizations in compliance and advise on the complex nature of data center and cloud infrastructure. It is now time to get ahead of upcoming version 4.0 to effectively achieve and sustain compliance. 

PCI Security Standards Council adopts new requirements to avert common breaches and keep pace with attacks

  • Attacks succeed because they take advantage of common exposures: Infrastructure and system misconfigurations, and ephemeral containers, create security gaps for attacks to move and spread more easily
  • Indicators of compromise are noisy without behavioral baselining: Alterations to configuration files and server logs, done without authorization, can be used by attackers to obscure their activities  
  • Automated activity, both in network connections and service accounts, are difficult to maintain : Core systems and unnecessary services may be communicating externally without the knowledge of security, operations, and risk management teams 
  • Authorized personnel may misuse privileges, intentionally or unintentionally compromising workload security: Failure to identify unusual activity hampers the ability to detect attempts at lateral movement

Implement microsegmentation controls, file integrity monitoring (FIM), and workload hardening to enforce required protection for PCI DSS 4.0

Reduce PCI assessment scope

Isolate cardholder data (CHD) by leveraging microsegmentation prevent unauthorized lateral movement to the cardholder data environment (CDE) and easily demonstrate the separation

Prevent unauthorized file changes

Implement file integrity monitoring for real-time detection of unauthorized changes to critical configuration and log files

Ensure assets are securely configured

Reduce the attack surface by hardening workloads, according to best practices like CIS benchmarks and ensure they remain unchanged with continuous detection for configuration drift

Protect against service account abuse

Discover and understand the entire environment, mapping relationships between applications, workloads, users, and core systems. Review all access by application and system accounts


PCI DSS stands for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard. It is a set of security principles designed to ensure that all companies accepting, processing, storing, or transmitting credit card information maintain a secure environment. Instituted by major credit card companies like Visa, MasterCard, and American Express, PCI DSS compliance is mandatory for businesses dealing with cardholder data. Compliance aims to reduce credit card fraud and protect both merchants and consumers. Non-compliance can lead to penalties, increased transaction fees, and reputational damage from potential breaches. 

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a cyber security framework established to safeguard credit card transactions against data theft and fraud. PCI DSS mandates businesses that handle cardholder data to uphold specific security measures and was developed by some of the world’s largest credit card providers. This includes securing and strengthening IT infrastructure, maintaining a vulnerability management program, and ensuring robust access control, among other requirements. In the arena of cybersecurity, PCI DSS is a pivotal standard that acts as a recognized stamp of trustworthiness and security for electronic financial transactions. 

Becoming PCI DSS compliant involves a multi-step process:  

  • First, organizations are required to identify scope by pinpointing where cardholder data is stored, processed, or transmitted.  
  • Next, businesses are required to conduct a risk assessment to identify vulnerabilities. 
  • They will need to address and rectify any vulnerabilities discovered comprehensively, then implement the security measures outlined in the PCI DSS guidelines. This could involve encrypting data, maintaining secure networks, initiation of least privilege access policies, and regularly monitoring and testing systems. 
  • Once organizations believe they are compliant, they will typically be required to complete a self-assessment questionnaire or undergo an audit, depending on their transaction volume.  
  • Lastly, organizations should submit the necessary validation records to their acquiring bank. 

A PCI assessment is a thorough review and exhaustive examination of an organization’s payment card processing environment to ensure it adheres to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). This assessment evaluates the security measures in place to protect cardholder datafrom both a technological and a procedural standpoint. Conducted by Qualified Security Assessors (QSAs) or through self-assessment for smaller merchants, the assessment’s outcome determines if an organization meets the PCI DSS requirements, ensuring a safer transaction environment for consumers and reducing the risk of data breaches. 

PCI DSS is crucial because it establishes standardized security measures to safeguard sensitive cardholder data against theft and breaches. Given the rising cyber threats targeting financial information, PCI DSS ensures businesses implement a consistent and robust defense mechanism. Compliance reduces the risk of data breaches, thereby protecting both the business and its customers. Not only does it instill trust among consumers, but non-compliance can also result in hefty fines, penalties, and potential loss of the ability to process credit card transactions. In essence, PCI DSS preserves the integrity of the payment ecosystem. 


Why Microsegmentation is Essential for PCI DSS 4.0 compliance
Why Microsegmentation is Essential for PCI DSS 4.0 Compliance
Understanding and Preparing for PCI DSS 4.0
microsegmentation solution brief
Microsegmentation Solution Brief
Why Microsegmentation and PCI-DSS 4.0 are the Perfect Match 
PCI-DSS 4.0 brings new standards to the payment card industry, for which microsegmentation is uniquely...
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TrueFort Advisor and Venture Partner - West Coast at Canaan, Bob Williams

Bob Williams

Advisor | Venture Partner - West Coast, Canaan
Maha Ibrahim, Canaan

Maha Ibrahim

Observer | General Partner - West Coast, Canaan
TrueFort CFO Eileen Spellman

Eileen Spellman

Managing Director Emerald Development Ptrs. And TrueFort Board Member, Charles Collins

Charles Collins

Observer - Mng. Director, Emerald Development Ptrs.
TrueFort CMO Matt Hathaway

Matt Hathaway


Matt Hathaway serves as TrueFort’s Chief Marketing Officer, leading the global marketing strategy to get TrueFort the recognition it deserves. Matt has extensive knowledge of security users, buyers, and landscape, as well as a track record of building high-performing marketing and product teams. He has over 15 years’ experience in the security market that span fraud prevention, vulnerability management, SIEM, cloud workload protection, data security, endpoint protection, and application security.

Prior to joining TrueFort, Mr. Hathaway was VP of Product Marketing at Imperva, a leader in Application and Data Security, where he led Product, Content, and Technical Marketing, SEO, and Competitive Intelligence. He was also VP of Product Marketing at Carbon Black (acquired by VMware), served in multiple product and marketing roles at Rapid7 (including through its IPO), and held product roles at RSA Security and Uptycs.

TrueFort Board Member and Principal & Founder of Bess Ventures & Adv., Lane Bess

Lane Bess

Member - Principal & Founder, Bess Ventures & Adv.
TrueFort Advisor and Chief Information Officer at Intel Corporation, Motti Finkelstein

Motti Finkelstein

Advisor - Chief Information Officer, Intel Corporation
TrueFort Advisor and Founder & President of Security Risk Solutions, Steve Katz

Steve Katz

Advisor - Founder & President, Security Risk Solutions
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