I'd like information about PCI DSS in the Cloud
AWS PCI Compliance

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

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

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.

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.  

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.

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

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.

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.

The AWS PCI DSS Compliance Package includes:

•  AWS PCI DSS 3.2 Attestation of Compliance (AOC)
•  AWS 2016 PCI DSS 3.2 Responsibility Summary

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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).

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

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.

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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