PCI DSS Compliance


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The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (also known as PCI DSS) is a proprietary information security standard administered by the PCI Security Standards Council, which was founded by American Express, Discover Financial Services, JCB International, MasterCard Worldwide and Visa Inc.

PCI DSS applies to all entities that store, process or transmit cardholder data (CHD) and/or sensitive authentication data (SAD) including merchants, processors, acquirers, issuers, and service providers. The PCI DSS is mandated by the card brands and administered by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council.

Request the PCI DSS Attestation of Compliance (AOC) and Responsibility Summary using AWS Artifact.

  • Is AWS PCI DSS Certified?

    Yes, AWS has been PCI DSS Certified since 2010. As of July 11, 2016, an external Qualified Security Assessor Company (QSAC), Coalfire Systems Inc. has validated that Amazon Web Services (AWS) successfully completed PCI Data Security Standards 3.2 Level 1 Service Provider assessment and were found to be compliant for all the services outlined below.

    Service provider levels are defined as:

    Level 1: Any service provider that stores, processes and/or transmits over 300,000 transactions annually

    Level 2: Any service provider that stores, processes and/or transmits less than 300,000 transactions annually

  • AWS Services That Are PCI DSS Compliant

    Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a Cloud Service Provider (CSP) that does not directly store, transmit or process any customer cardholder data (CHD). However, AWS customers may create their own card data environment (CDE) that can store, transmit or process cardholder data using AWS products.

    The covered AWS services that are already PCI DSS compliant can be found within AWS Services in Scope by Compliance Program. If you would like to learn more about using these services and/or have interest in other services please contact us.

  • What does this mean to me as a PCI DSS merchant or service provider?

    AWS being a PCI DSS “Compliant” Service Provider means that customers who use AWS products and services to store, process or transmit cardholder data can rely on our technology infrastructure as they manage their own PCI DSS compliance certification.

  • What does this mean to me as a non-PCI DSS merchant customer?

    AWS' PCI DSS compliance further demonstrates the commitment to information security at every level. As the PCI DSS standard is validated by an external independent third party, it confirms that our security management program is comprehensive and follows leading industry practices. This validation provides our customers assurance with regards to our security practices.

  • As an AWS customer, can I rely on the AWS Attestation of Compliance (AOC) or will additional testing be required for to be fully compliant?

    All entities must manage their own PCI DSS compliance certification. For the portion of the PCI cardholder environment deployed in AWS, your QSA can rely on AWS Attestation of Compliance (AOC), but you will still be required to satisfy all other PCI DSS requirements.

  • How can I learn which PCI DSS controls I am responsible for?

    For detailed information please refer to the "AWS 2016 PCI DSS 3.2 Responsibility Summary" from the AWS PCI DSS Compliance Package, available upon request.

  • How can I obtain the AWS PCI Compliance Package?

    The AWS PCI Compliance Package is available to customers using AWS Artifact, a self-service portal for on-demand access to AWS’ compliance reports. Get started with AWS Artifact today.

  • What does the AWS PCI DSS Compliance Package contain?

    The AWS PCI DSS Compliance Package includes:

    • AWS PCI DSS 3.2 Attestation of Compliance (AOC)
    • AWS 2017 PCI DSS 3.2 Responsibility Summary

  • Is AWS listed on the Visa Global Registry of Service Providers and the MasterCard Compliant Service Provider List?

    Yes, AWS is listed on both the Visa Global Registry of Service Providers and the MasterCard Compliant Service Provider List. The Service Provider listings further demonstrate that AWS successfully validated PCI DSS compliance and has met all applicable Visa and MasterCard program requirements.

  • Does the PCI DSS standard require single-tenant environments in order to be compliant?

    No. The AWS environment is a virtualized, multi-tenant environment. AWS has effectively implemented security management processes, PCI DSS requirements and other compensating controls that effectively and securely segregate each customer into its own protected environment. This secure architecture has been validated by an independent QSA and was found to be in compliance with all requirements of PCI DSS version 3.2 published in April 2016.

    PCI Security Standards Council has published PCI DSS Cloud Computing Guidelines 2.0 as a guidance for customers, service providers, and assessors of cloud computing services. It also describes service models and how compliance roles and responsibilities are shared between providers and customers.

    Additionally, Third-Party Security Assurance 2016 provides supplemental information organizations in selecting, using, and managing third-party service providers with whom cardholder data is shared.

  • Do QSAs for Level 1 merchants require a physical walkthrough of a service provider’s data center?

    A merchant’s QSA can always rely on AWS Attestation of Compliance (AOC) to demonstrate an extensive assessment of physical security controls of AWS data centers.

  • Will AWS support forensic investigations if required?

    Yes. AWS manages forensic investigations in alignment with DSS requirement A 1.4. Customers or their designated Qualified Incident Response Assessors (QIRA) can contact AWS as required to perform forensic investigations.

  • Is there a special PCI DSS compliant environment I need to specify when bringing up servers or uploading objects to store?

    No. The entire infrastructure that supports in-scope services is compliant and there is no separate environment or special API to use. Any server or data object deployed in or using these services is in a PCI DSS compliant environment, globally.

  • Is AWS compliance applicable internationally?

    Yes. Data centers in the following locations are compliant with the PCI DSS standard: US East (Northern Virginia), US East (Ohio), US West (Oregon), US West (Northern California), AWS GovCloud (US), Canada (Central), Europe (Ireland), Europe (Frankfurt), Europe (London), Asia Pacific (Singapore), Asia Pacific (Sydney), Asia Pacific (Tokyo), Asia Pacific (Seoul), Asia Pacific (Mumbai), and South America (São Paulo).

  • Is the PCI DSS standard public?

    Yes. You can download the standard directly from the PCI Security Standards Council.

  • Has anyone achieved PCI DSS certification on the AWS platform?

    Yes, numerous AWS customers have successfully deployed and certified part or all of their cardholder environments on AWS. AWS does not disclose the customers who have achieved PCI DSS certification, but does regularly work with customers and their PCI DSS assessors in planning for, deploying, certifying, and performing quarterly scanning of a cardholder environment on AWS.

  • How do companies comply with PCI DSS?

    There are two primary approaches that companies take to validate their PCI DSS compliance on an annual basis. The first approach is to have an external Qualified Security Assessor (QSA) assess your applicable environment and then create a Report on Compliance (ROC) and Attestation of Compliance (AOC); this approach is most common for entities that handle large volumes of transactions. The second approach is to perform a Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ); this approach is most common for entities that handle smaller volumes of transaction.

    It is important to note that the payment brands and acquirers are responsible for enforcing compliance, not the PCI council.

    Below is a high-level overview of the 12 PCI DSS requirements.

    Build and Maintain a Secure Network and Systems

    1. Install and maintain a firewall configuration to protect cardholder data

    2. Do not use vendor-supplied defaults for system passwords and other security parameters

    Protect Cardholder Data

    3. Protect stored cardholder data

    4. Encrypt transmission of cardholder data across open, public networks

    Maintain a Vulnerability Management Program

    5. Protect all systems against malware and regularly update anti-virus software or programs

    6. Develop and maintain secure systems and applications

    Implement Strong Access Control Measures

    7. Restrict access to cardholder data by business need to know

    8. Identify and authenticate access to system components

    9. Restrict physical access to cardholder data

    Regularly Monitor and Test Networks

    10. Track and monitor all access to network resources and cardholder data

    11. Regularly test security systems and processes

    Maintain an Information Security Policy

    12. Maintain a policy that addresses information security for all personnel

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