Brief on PA-DSS Compliance & Audit

Payment Application Data Security Standard is a global Security Standard created and maintained by the PCI Council. It is currently the best payment application security practice in the world. It is a Security Standard requirement developed to help software vendors build secure payment applications that adhere to the PCI DSS Compliance norms. PA-DSS Compliance is typically applicable to third-party applications that store, process or transmit payment cardholder data as part of an authorization or settlement. Organizations looking to achieve PA-DSS Compliance need to review and audit their application by a PA-DSS Qualified Security Assessor from time to time. PA DSS Compliance ensures all the necessary application security controls are implemented, and software is developed in line with the best security practices.

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    Our Approach to PA-DSS Advisory and Certification

    Scope Definition
    Scope Definition

    We spend significant time with your senior management in Scope Definition which includes timelines, responsibilities, and budget for the implementation.

    Gap Analysis
    Gap Analysis

    We conduct an “as-is” Gap Analysis of your organization vis-à-vis PA-DSS requirements.

    Awareness Training
    Awareness Training

    We provide your business and software development team a brief Awareness Training on PA-DSS and discuss their responsibilities and timelines.

    Automated Code Review
    Automated Code Review

    Our automated code review software checks source code for compliance with a predefined set of rules or best practices. Our analytical methods inspect and review source code to detect commonly known programming bugs.

    Standard Code Review
    Standard Code Review

    We augment tool-assisted scans with a manual review of the underlying software architecture which cannot be evaluated by tools and especially without special engineering. We follow a proprietary methodology to discover and critique security points of interest relevant to the application’s architecture.

    Advanced Code Review
    Advanced Code Review

    We focus on the underlying frameworks and toolkits the application depends on for critical functions. Our team then reviews the functional and non-functional behavior of these frameworks, model information flow, component interaction, and communication paths to detect weaknesses in the framework.

    Custom Code Review
    Custom Code Review

    We conduct both automated and manual vulnerability assessments d in an Advanced Code Review and further explore attack surfaces and frameworks. This level of analysis is ideal for high-risk, business-critical software that cannot afford even low-severity security vulnerabilities.

    Assess & Scan
    Assess & Scan

    Our team assesses and scans your web application to accurately identify vulnerabilities like an attacker. Using the top-end commercial tool and an in-house developed semi-automatic assessment portal, we ensure the possibility of false-positive or false-negative is the bare minimum.

    Remediation
    Remediation

    As we believe it is just as important to fix bugs as it is to find them, our consultants provide you with a document outlining remediation guidance. We further support your team for queries during the actual remediation of weaknesses.

    PA-DSS document set
    PA-DSS document set

    With all data in hand, our team then creates the document set as per PA-DSS requirements. Your inputs are required ONLY to validate the same.

    User Training
    User Training

    Our expert conducts a User Training program for business personnel and the software development personnel for applications covered in scope in their specific responsibilities. This being an ongoing exercise, the training video shall be recorded and provided to you for future reference and training.

    Pre-assessment
    Pre-assessment

    After a reasonable gestation period, a separate team of experts conduct a Pre-assessment of your setup.

    Certified with external auditors
    Certified with external auditors

    Once all controls are confirmed to be in place, we help you get certified with our dedicated and duly separated team of auditors for PA-DSS.

    Continual Support
    Continual Support

    We can provide you continual support (Managed Compliance Services) and help you stay compliant.

    Benefits to work with vistainfsoec

    Why work with VISTA InfoSec?

    Industry Expertise- We will share industry-specific insight and provide relevant recommendations for achieving your goals of compliance.
    Years of Experience – With more than 150 successful audits performed right from 2008, you can be assured of getting the best industry experts. We even have Auditors with a min 12-15 years’ experience.
    End-to-end support- Our team will hand-hold you at every stage of the Compliance process including the design of controls and documentation as may be required.
    Robust security & risk management solution – We will provide you with a comprehensive solution, designed to meet your requirements.
    Reports detailing the analysis finding – We will provide you documents detailing the findings of the analysis and provide relevant recommendations for the same.
    Training videos and materials – We will provide valuable training videos and materials for equipping your personnel on an ongoing basis.
    Attestation support – Our Qualified in-house Auditor will provide you with PA DSS Certification after the successful completion of the Audit, as per the required standard.
    Vendor neutral Company- We believe in being your true consulting / audit partners by not indulging in sales of hardware/software that might create bias.
    Strictly No Outsourcing- We value your trust in us so we do not outsource your critical assignments to another third party.
    Frequently Asked Questions

    Frequently Asked Questions on PA-DSS Advisory and Certification

    PA-DSS applies to software vendors and others who develop and sell customized payment applications that store, process, or transmit cardholder data and/or sensitive authentication data.

    The basic difference between PCI DSS and PA DSS Compliance is that PCI DSS applies to all organizations that store process or transmit cardholder data. While PA DSS applies to applications only; customised payment applications that store, process or transmit card holder data and are involved in the authorized or settlement cycles. For more details on applicability of PA DSS, you can refer to our blog.

    PA DSS helps software vendors and others develop secure payment applications and protect sensitive data such as the magnetic stripe, CVV2, or PIN data, and further ensure the payment applications support compliance with the PCI DSS.

    PA DSS ensures the protection of cardholder data.
    Secures network implementation and remote software updates.
    Ensures encryption of sensitive traffic over public networks.
    Secures any kind of wireless transmissions.

    Third-party applications that store, process, or transmit payment cardholder data as part of an authorization or settlement need to adhere to PA DSS norms. However, software applications developed by merchants for in-house use only are exempt from PA-DSS but need to comply with PCI DSS for securing the card data environment.

    It depends on the scale of the applications, the various touchpoints of card data in the application and the type of card data being stored in the application databases. Significant amount of time is also taken to ensure that there are no security vulnerabilities in the application and the installation/operating manuals are descriptive enough.

    PA-DSS validated POS application is mandated directly by the individual card brands. Currently, VISA Card and MasterCard have mandated the use of a PA DSS Validated POS Application.

    PCI SSF is an updated version of the PA DSS framework. PCI SSF supports both the traditional and modern payment software including cloud and mobile platforms. The framework allows validation of both modern and traditional payment software using an “objective-based” approach to confirm application security and development practices. For more details, you can refer to our blog.

    Emphasizes implementation of Industry best practices.
    Helps secure payment applications.
    Ensures security of not just the application, but also the entire development process.
    Designed to discover any potential weak link and remediate it.
    Prevents the possibility of a data breach.
    Ensures payment applications support compliance with the PCI DSS.

    Discover our latest resources

    Transition from PA DSS TO PCI SSF
    Guide For The Transition From PA DSS To PCI SSF

    Payment Application Data Security Standard was launched in the year … Read More

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    PA DSS and PCI SSF How they match & How they map
    PA DSS and PCI SSF How they match & How they map
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