Adopt PCI regulations to reap security benefits: Security director

CIOs are being warned that complying with PCI DSS (data security standards) is just as much about technology as it is security.

Speaking to CIO Australia, Bridge Point Communications director business development, Tim Smith, said the regulations are about more than just security.

“While some CSOs wear the CIO hat as well, PCI is such a technical standard, it absolutely involves the CIO or members of the CIO's team,” he said.

Smith said updates were made to the regulations last month and CIOs need to make themselves aware of what has changed.

“There’s not a huge amount of changes but there are a number of clarifications,” he said. “There are a certain amount of grey areas where words were open to misinterpretation [that have been amended in the latest version].”

One such grey area was virtualisation, which Smith said was overlooked in previous versions of PCI regulations.

“Virtualisation does exist now, but we’re still waiting for the PCI working group to come up with more specific details around virtualisation,” he said.

Another area covered in the update was new technologies created in the time between the old and new versions of PCI DSS.

“New technologies that have come out since the standard came out were also covered, as was a better process for managing risk and the consolidation of documentation that was required,” Smith said.

In addition, Smith said companies who have viewed PCI compliance regulations as a chance to improve internal security will emerge triumphant compared with those who are late into the game.

“The companies that have done the best out of it are those that have looked at it as being an opportunity to bring a good security rigor into their organisation,” he said.

“Those that have gone through that process of being PCI compliant, it’s a small part of it. The main issue is with the organisations that don’t have their house in order when it comes to the security aspect.”

When Smith spoke to CIO Australia last year, he said CIOs who began planning early would be better off under PCI regulations.

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Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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