The majority of merchants which sign up to payment security standard PCI DSS fall out of compliance less than a year after being validated, greatly increasing their chance of falling victim to a damaging data breach, according to Verizon Enterprise Solutions.
The IT services giant examined results from thousands of PCI assessments conducted by its global team of PCI Qualified Security Assessors (QSAs), in order to compile its 2015 PCI Report, due out in February.
Selected findings released this week revealed that fewer than one-third of those businesses analyzed were still fully compliant less than a year after being certified by Verizon.Two key areas where firms are failing to keep up with the strict requirements of the PCI DSS are regular testing of security systems and properly maintaining firewalls, the vendor said.
The findings are all the more surprising given that the report mainly focused on Fortune 500 and large multinational firms.It also claimed that, of all the data breach incidents studied, none of the firms involved were fully compliant with PCI DSS at the time of the breach – highlighting the value of the standard.
As well as putting in place safeguards to prevent cyber attacks, organizations must also prepare for the possibility that they will fall victim, Verizon said.A considered response should include steps to mitigate the impact of any breach, restore cyber defenses and resume normal operations as soon as possible, it added.
The findings chime with the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council’s focus in version 3.0 of the standard, which came fully into force on 1 January 2015.
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