Overview of PCI Requirements
- PCI Security Standards are technical and operational requirements set by the PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) to protect cardholder data.
- The standards apply to all entities that store, process or transmit cardholder data – with requirements for software developers and manufacturers of applications and devices used in those transactions.
- The Council is responsible for managing the security standards, while compliance with the PCI set of standards is enforced by the founding members of the Council: American Express, Discover Financial Services, JCB, MasterCard and Visa Inc.
- Service Provider: Business entity that is not a payment brand, directly involved in the processing, storage, or transmission of cardholder data on behalf of another entity. This also includes companies that provide services that control or could impact the security of cardholder data. Examples include managed service providers that provide managed firewalls, IDS and other services as well as hosting providers and other entities. If an entity provides a service that involves only the provision of public network access—such as a telecommunications company providing just the communication link—the entity would not be considered a service provider for that service (although they may be considered a service provider for other services).
- Merchant: For the purposes of the PCI DSS, a merchant is defined as any entity that accepts payment cards bearing the logos of any of the five members of PCI SSC (American Express, Discover, JCB, MasterCard or Visa) as payment for goods and/or services. Note that a merchant that accepts payment cards as payment for goods and/or services can also be a service provider, if the services sold result in storing, processing, or transmitting cardholder data on behalf of other merchants or service providers. For example, an ISP is a merchant that accepts payment cards for monthly billing, but also is a service provider if it hosts merchants as customers.
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