The Payment Card Industry Software Security Framework (PCI SSF) is a global security standard designed by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC). It was developed to address the increasing threats and risks associated with payment software systems that store, process, or transmit cardholder data.
The scope of the PCI SSF includes, but is not limited to, the following:
Application Software Security: The PCI SSF applies to payment application software that is involved in the processing, storage, or transmission of cardholder data. This could include point-of-sale systems, online payment portals, and more.
Software Vendors: Companies that develop and distribute these payment applications fall within the scope of the PCI SSF. The framework provides a set of standards that vendors must adhere to in order to ensure the security of their software products.
Payment Transactions: Any transaction that involves cardholder data falls within the scope of the PCI SSF. This includes all aspects of a transaction, from the initial payment to the eventual settlement of funds.
Security Measures: The framework provides guidelines for various security measures, such as secure coding practices, vulnerability management, secure software design and development, and secure disposal of cardholder data.
Life-cycle Management: PCI SSF outlines a series of secure software life-cycle management requirements that software vendors must follow. This includes requirements for secure software updates and patches.
Third-party Service Providers: If vendors outsource parts of their services to third parties, these providers also fall under the scope of the PCI SSF. This ensures that all components of the payment process are secure, regardless of which entity is responsible for them.
Validation: The PCI SSF provides guidelines for validation mechanisms to ensure that payment applications are secure. Vendors are required to validate their applications through rigorous testing and ongoing monitoring.