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Quick Start architecture for PCI DSS compliance on the AWS Cloud

Quick Start architecture for PCI DSS compliance on AWS


This Quick Start sets up an AWS Cloud environment that provides a standardized architecture for Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS) compliance.

The Quick Start template automatically configures the AWS resources and deploys a multi-tier, Linux-based web application in a few simple steps, in about 30 minutes. The Quick Start also includes a security controls reference (Microsoft Excel spreadsheet), which shows how the Quick Start components and configuration map to PCI DSS controls.

This Quick Start is part of a set of AWS compliance solutions. For additional AWS Quick Starts, see the complete catalog.

  • What you'll build

    Use this Quick Start to build a cloud architecture that helps support PCI DSS requirements. The deployment includes the following components and features:

    • Basic AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) configuration with custom (IAM) policies, with associated groups, roles, and instance profiles.
    • Standard, external-facing Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC) Multi-AZ architecture with separate subnets for different application tiers and private (back-end) subnets for application and database. The Multi-AZ architecture helps ensure high availability.
    • Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) buckets for encrypted web content, logging, and backup data.
    • Standard Amazon VPC security groups for Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances and load balancers used in the sample application stack. The security groups limit access to only necessary services.
    • Three-tier Linux web application using Auto Scaling and Elastic Load Balancing, which can be modified and/or bootstrapped with customer application.
    • A secured bastion login host to facilitate command-line Secure Shell (SSH) access to Amazon EC2 instances for troubleshooting and systems administration activities.
    • Encrypted, Multi-AZ Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) MySQL database.
    • Logging, monitoring, and alerts using AWS CloudTrail, Amazon CloudWatch, and AWS Config rules (where available).

    For details, see the Quick Start deployment guide.

  • Deployment details

    Before deploying the Quick Start, you need to confirm that your AWS account is set up correctly by checking service limits and SSH key pairs, and setting up AWS Config, where available. You can then build your standardized PCI DSS environment in about 30 minutes by following the instructions in the deployment guide. The deployment process consists of these steps:

    1. Sign in to your AWS account.
    2. Launch the Quick Start and set the required parameters. If you have an AWS GovCloud (US) account, you can deploy the Quick Start in the AWS GovCloud Region.
    3. Test your deployment.  

    For complete instructions, see the Quick Start deployment guide.

    The Quick Start is modular and customizable. It includes nested AWS CloudFormation templates that automate deploying and configuring resources for IAM, logging, production VPC, management VPC, AWS Config rules, NAT, and the web application. You can deploy the entire architecture, or customize or omit resources.

  • Cost and licenses

    You are responsible for the cost of the AWS services used while running this Quick Start reference deployment. There is no additional cost for using the Quick Start.

    The AWS CloudFormation template for this Quick Start includes configuration parameters that you can customize. Some of these settings, such as instance type and storage, will affect the cost of deployment. See the pricing pages for each AWS service you will be using for cost estimates.