PCI DSS stands for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard. It’s the rulebook that governs how customer card data gets managed. Recently, it was adapted to require both a vulnerability scan and a pen test. The vulnerability assessment and penetration test must include the perimeter of the Cardholder Data Environment (CDE) and any systems which, if compromised, could impact the security of the CDE. PCI Penetration tests must be performed at least once annually and every six months for service providers.
Penetration Testing assesses the controls used to protect the CDE for PCI DSS.
Specifically, PCI DSS 3.2 distinguishes between a vulnerability scan (Requirement 11.2) and a penetration test (Requirement 11.3), both of which are required for PCI DSS compliance. PCI DSS Requirement 184.108.40.206 requires an organization to perform penetration testing on CDE segmentation controls every six months. The PCI Security Standard Council’s guidance states organizations should:
Examine the results from the most recent penetration test to verify that:
Although PCI DSS only specifies a penetration test every 180 days, we recommend a quarterly program that includes validation testing.