Protecting customer data is crucial for any business that accepts online payments. The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a set of rules created by major credit card companies to ensure the security of consumers' information. By following these rules, businesses can make sure that their customers' personal and financial data is safe.

The PCI DSS applies to any business that handles credit card information, including processing, storing, or transmitting it. If a business doesn't comply with these rules, they may face expensive fines and penalties from credit card companies. It can also harm the trust that customers have in the business, which can be really bad for any company.

A new version of the standard, called PCI DSS 4.0, was released in March 2023. It will replace the current version, PCI DSS 3.2.1, by March 2025. This gives organizations three years to meet the requirements of the new version.

The updated standard, PCI DSS 4.0, puts more focus on a type of security threat that hasn't been given enough attention in the past. This threat is called "client-side threats," which means security problems that happen on the customer's computer rather than the company's servers or network. The new version of PCI DSS addresses these threats more specifically.

For example, one of the requirements in PCI DSS 4.0 says that businesses need to make a list of all the software they use, including any third-party software. Another requirement says that businesses must keep their software up to date to fix any known security problems. There are also requirements for protecting web applications that customers use and making sure any scripts that run in a customer's web browser are authorized.

PCI DSS 4.0 also includes sections that deal with identifying and fixing vulnerabilities in a company's systems, as well as detecting and responding to network attacks.

Following the requirements in PCI DSS 4.0 will help improve the security of customer data. While traditional security measures like web application firewalls protect against some online threats, they don't cover the customer's web browser. This leaves businesses vulnerable to certain attacks that can go undetected.

To comply with PCI DSS 4.0, businesses need to make some changes. They need to figure out what web assets they have and where they come from, review their code, and follow the best practices outlined in the new version. This might be challenging for big businesses with lots of code to go through.

Using modern security tools can help businesses meet the requirements of PCI DSS 4.0 more easily. These tools can automatically detect all the different scripts and digital assets on a website and create appropriate security policies. They can also monitor web activity and prevent unauthorized actions, like exporting sensitive customer data.

The changes in PCI DSS 4.0 mean that online businesses need to take extra steps to keep customer data secure. Companies that want to stay ahead of the rules should start making changes now, especially when it comes to addressing security risks that affect customers' computers.

If you want to make sure you’re not accidentally exposing your clients’ data and violating data protection laws, schedule a quick call with us to discuss your concerns and see if there are ways we can help you!