Usage of payment cards such as credit cards, debit cards, and prepaid cards, continues to grow. Security breaches related to payment cards have led to billion dollar losses annually. In order to offset this trend, major payment card networks have founded the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Security Standards Council (SSC), which has designed and released the PCI Data Security Standard (DSS). This standard guides service providers and merchants to implement stronger security infrastructures that reduce the risks of security breaches. This article mainly discusses the need for the PCI DSS and the data security requirements defined in the standard to address the ongoing security issues, especially those pertaining to payment card data handling. It also surveys various technical solutions, offered by a few security vendors, for merchant companies and organizations involved in payment card transaction processing to comply with the standard. The compliance of merchants or service providers to the PCI DSS are assessed by PCI Qualified Security Assessors (QSAs). This article thus discusses the requirements to become PCI QSAs. In addition, it introduces the PCI security scanning procedures that guide the scanning of security policies of a merchant or service provider and prepare relevant reports. We believe that this survey sheds light on potential technical research problems pertinent to the PCI DSS and its compliance.


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