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A Quick Guide to PCI Penetration Testing

Are you running a business that handles credit cards or personally identifiable or payment information? Then, you need to ensure PCI compliance. And what happens after sound compliance is you affirm to your customers that you are a legal entity that secures customer information. Isn’t it great to promise customers security and have a competitive edge in the market? Yes indeed!

So, what’s the most significant part of Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards? That’s where we are heading – PCI Pen Test. The blog will quickly cover all insights related to the most crucial tool surrounding various regulatory standards in the Payment Card Industry. Without further hold, let us quickly discover what PCI Pen Testing is, what it involves, and why it is essential.

Table of Contents

  1. PCI DSS and its Significance
  2. Understanding the PCI Pen Test
  3. What’s the intent behind PCI Pen Tests?
  4. Why Pen Test for PCI DSS?
  5. How is PCI Pen Test performed?
  6. Things to know before selecting your PCI Pen Test Provider
  7. Why ValueMentor for PCI Pen Test?

PCI DSS and its Significance

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, PCI DSS, has kept swiftness with the ever-changing threat landscape. The standard is an information security standard for enterprises that handle credit cards from major card schemes.

The standard got created by the payments industry to provide a validated set of requirements for all businesses handling credit card information. The multi-layered set of provisions helps organizations defend the integrity and security of cardholder data.

The standard includes provisions related to policies, procedures, software design, network architecture, and other crucial defensive efforts. The PCI DSS standard has 12 requirements. It defines various controls that merchants, service providers, and vendors must execute to safeguard cardholder information.

Understanding the PCI Pen Test

PCI Pen Test mark a process of testing a developed or in-development application for security vulnerabilities. In a basic sense, it is digging for security flaws in applications and networks to enable a quick resolution.

Data security is a continuously varying landscape. There are new threats to consider, rigid regulations to adhere to, multiple testing products, and the latest technologies to know and comprehend. It is no surprise that security teams can get overwhelmed.

While a pen test is not a total or a complete replacement for a full-scale audit, it can help a business evaluate its applications/network security and identify approaching risk vectors.

What’s the intent behind PCI Pen Tests?

  • Uncover lurked security vulnerabilities/ flaws
  • Lower the risk of getting breached/hacked
  • Establish sound compliance with industry standards
  • Provide evidence of compliance with industry standards
  • Build trust among customers, partners, and third parties.

Why Pen Test for PCI DSS?

Penetration Testing, as cited earlier, is a critical activity that helps secure payment systems. It allows you to assess, locate, and ultimately mitigate security flaws. It also lets you identify weaknesses and vulnerabilities that may pave way for future threats and breaches.

Penetration Testing is also an integral part of the compliance process as it verifies that the deployed solutions adhere to the security standards and underlying requirements.

A successful PCI Pen Test help identify: –

  • Unsafe system & network configurations.
  • Improper access controls.
  • Rogue wireless networks.
  • Coding vulnerabilities like SQL injection & XSS.
  • Broken authentication & session management.
  • Encryption flaws.

How is PCI Pen Test performed?

Penetration testing involves numerous steps to be followed in a specific order. And let us take a quick look at these steps to be performed in line with PCI penetration testing requirements.

1. Scoping

The initial step in the PCI Pen Testing exercise is scoping, where the complete scope is defined. It is essential to separate in-scope elements from the others prior to the start of the test. It is the scope that determines testing limitations and rules.

2. Reconnaissance & Discovery

The step includes accumulating and assembling information about the target networks or applications. The post-data collected could be used to determine the attack vectors. Likewise, it also involves the identification of all the hosts in the target network and their individual services.

Step 3: Exploitation

The next is where the attacker exploits vulnerabilities or flaws in the available services either to acquire unauthorized access to the target environment or to check for data alteration possibilities. Exploitation exercises can take multiple forms, including SQL injections, a buffer overflow, or DoS attacks.

Step 4: Reporting

The final step of a penetration test involves reporting all the findings to the target organization. The report will contain clear and explicit information about the vulnerabilities located in the network or applications, their possible impacts, and prioritized recommendations to fix them.

Step 5: Retest

After the remediation of the vulnerabilities from the target end, the penetration test should be repeated, ensuring that the vulnerabilities have been fixed and validating the final closures of gaps.

Things to know before selecting your PCI Pen Test Provider

In the current digital tick, you will definitely come across several companies offering and promising the service line. Yes, that’s a great thing to have choices in your hand.

However, it also means that you will have to pick the right choice from a table of the mixture. Don’t worry! We will help you outline the facts you should consider when choosing a PCI Penetration Testing Provider.

1. Remediation Support/Assist: When you have a pen testing provider with expert hands to dig the vulnerabilities, think of the level of experience they would have to provide the required mitigation advice. You will encounter numerous service providers in the market, but you need to ensure that they are well-versed in providing the all-required support and assistance to you.

2. Inspect the Service Level Agreement: The right service level agreement will contain complete project details such as testing methodology, deliverables, and exclusions if any. It will help you comprehend the quality of the service to be rendered and the time span for which you would get the service offering.

3. Reputation: Reputation and reviews are a great measuring gauge to select your PCI penetration Testing Provider. It is better to check previous engagements the company has completed and the success rate. Checking the reputation voice of the company is the best way to choose your pen testing provider.

Why ValueMentor for PCI Pen Test?

ValueMentor is a trusted PCI Penetration Testing Provider with a handy wing of testing specialists. Our team works constantly to ensure no vulnerability is left behind the backdoors. We have a proven track record of providing the best-in-class penetration testing services to our clients worldwide. Performance, precision, and soundness are the three implied pillars that define our assessment and testing approaches. We have skilled and adept security experts who can unveil vulnerabilities that may otherwise go missed. To know more about our PCI pen Testing approach, leap to our service page now.

Consult our cyber security specialists

We can help you optimize cyber security. ValueMentor, with a full-fledged PCI Pen Testing team, is ever-ready to handhold you with a holistic and proactive security approach. Have a concealed security ring around your business, helping you alleviate risks, enhance security and meet compliance with various regulations. Get your customized consultation and security advice.

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