PCI Compliance refers to the security standards established by the Payment Card Industry (PCI). The Payment Card Industry consists of all the organizations which store, process, and transmit credit card data. The security standards are developed by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council, which develops the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards used throughout the industry. Individual card brands establish compliance requirements that are used by service providers with their own compliance programs.
The PCI Security Standards Council offers robust and comprehensive standards and supporting materials to enhance payment card data security. These materials include a framework of specifications, tools, measurements and support resources to help organizations ensure the safe handling of cardholder information at every step. The keystone is the PCI Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), which provides an actionable framework for developing a robust payment card data security process — including prevention, detection and appropriate reaction to security incidents.
Tools to assist organizations validate their PCI DSS compliance include Self Assessment Questionnaires. The chart linked here shows some of the tools available to help organizations become PCI DSS-compliant.
For device vendors and manufacturers, the Council provides the PIN Transaction Security (PTS) requirements, which contains a single set of requirements for all personal identification number (PIN) terminals, including POS devices, encrypting PIN pads and unattended payment terminals. A list of approved PIN transaction devices can be accessed here.
To help software vendors and others develop secure payment applications, the Council maintains the Payment Application Data Security Standard (PA-DSS) and a list of Validated Payment Applications.
The Council also provides training to professional firms and individuals so that they can assist organizations with their compliance efforts. The Council maintains public resources such as lists of Qualified Security Assessors (QSAs), Payment Application Qualified Security Assessors (PA-QSAs), and Approved Scanning Vendors (ASVs). Large firms seeking to educate their employees can take advantage of the Internal Security Assessor (ISA) education program.