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All you Should Know about PSI DSS and Its Significance

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By AMSAT Feb 10,2021

All you Should Know about PSI DSS and Its Significance

What is PCI DSS?

Constituted by a few renowned financial services including Visa, MasterCard, in 2004, Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a set of safety standards aimed at protecting credit and debit card transactions against data holdup and scam. The PCI SSC is not legally authorized to force compliance, but it is mandatory for any business that processes credit or debit card transactions. It’s also considered as the most effective method to protect sensitive data and information, thus helping companies create enduring and reliable relationships with their clients.


PCI-compliant security offers an important asset that apprises clients that it’s safe to transact with your business. On the contrary, the cost of nonconformity, both in financial and reputational terms, should be sufficient to persuade any entrepreneur not to underestimate data security. A data break that discloses important customer information is expected to have severe consequences on a company. A breach may lead to fines from payment card issuers, lawsuits, reduced sales and a harshly dented reputation.


After undergoing a breach, a company may have to stop accepting credit card dealings or be compelled to pay higher ensuing charges than the original cost of security conformity. The investment in PCI security events ensures that other facets of your commerce are safe from nefarious hackers or cybercriminals.

PCI DSS Compliance levels

Split into four levels, PCI compliance is based on the yearly number of credit or debit card transactions processed by a company. The cataloguing level ascertains what a company needs to do to continue to be compliant.

Level 1: This level has to do with traders processing upwards of 6 million credit or debit card transactions yearly. Carried out by an approved PCI auditor, the transactions must undergo an internal audit once a year. Also, they must submit to a PCI image by an Approved Scanning Vendor (ASV).


Level 2: This level deals with traders processing between one and 6 million real-world credit or debit card transactions per year. They need to complete an assessment once a year using a Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ). Additionally, a quarterly PCI scan may be required.


Level 3: Applies to merchants processing between 20,000 and one million e-commerce transactions annually. They must complete an annual valuation using the pertinent SAQ, while a quarterly PCI scan may also be needed.


Level 4: This has to do with traders processing fewer than 20,000 e-commerce dealings or year, or those that process as much as one million real-world dealings. An annual evaluation using the pertinent SAQ must be finished and a three-monthly PCI scan may be obligatory.

PCI DSS requirements

The PCI SSC has delineated 12 requirements for management of cardholder data and upkeeping a protected network. Divided between six wide-ranging objectives, all are essential for a company to become compliant.

Protect network

  1. A firewall configuration must be installed and maintained
  2. System passwords must be unique (not vendor-supplied)

Protect cardholder data

  1. Deposited cardholder data must be secured
  2. Transmissions of cardholder data across public networks must be encoded

Vulnerability management

  1. Anti-virus software must be employed and frequently updated
  2. Safe systems and applications must be designed and maintained

Access control

  1. Cardholder data access must be limited to a business need-to-know basis
  2. Every individual with computer access must be allocated a unique ID
  3. Physical access to cardholder data must be limited

Network monitoring and testing

  1. Admittance to cardholder data and network resources must be followed and checked
  2. Security systems and procedures must be regularly tested

Information security

  1. A policy regarding information security must be maintained

Significance of PCI DSS

There are a number of benefits associated with the PCI DSS. First of all, it protects the data of your enterprise and your employees. While navigating through risks such as malware threats and social engineering, you should take the appropriate precautions to keep your computers, networks, and servers protected. Secondly, increasing customer confidence is also very important, as you would never approach a business if you knew your credit card information may be stolen. Your business will not be taken seriously if people are uncomfortable about you keeping their data secure.
Thirdly, PCI DSS helps protect your clients, who trust you with their card data to transact with your business. But rest assured, you are the only one to suffer should your data get breached. It’s your duty to keep your client’s data secure while it’s in your possession. In case you fail to secure your client’s data, you are liable to lawsuits and penalties, particularly if you misleadingly told them your business was safe. Being PCI- compliant can help minimize these fines and penalties while reducing the number of lawsuits your business may get into. Last but not least, PCI DSS reduces the expenses of data breaches for they can cost you dearly in that you may suffer both in financial and customer confidence terms.


Since its formation, PCI DSS has undergone several changes in a bid to keep up with changes to the online threat scene. Although new requirements are sporadically added, the simple rules for conformity have remained continuous. One of the more noteworthy of these additions was Requirement 6.6, which was set up more than a decade ago to defend data against some of the most widespread web application attack vectors and other malicious inputs. Employing such methods can help criminals possibly gain access to a host of data — including sensitive customer information. Satisfying this need can be developed either through application code appraisals or by understanding a web application firewall (WAF).
The first option consists of a physical assessment of web application source code along with a fault assessment of application security. It needs an accomplished internal resource or third party to run the assessment, while final accord must come from an external organization. Additionally, the selected evaluator is required to remain up-to-date on the latest trends in web application security to ensure that all future threats are properly dealt with.


  • Vulnerability management
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    Finding Vulnerabilities in Mobile App Penetration Testing
    Posted in Vulnerability

    Finding Vulnerabilities in Mobile App Penetration Testing

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    By AMSAT Nov 30,2020

    Finding Vulnerabilities in Mobile App Penetration Testing

    Penetration tests are a vital security process for mobile app testing. While vulnerability scans are aimed at testing known bugs, security experts use penetration tests to determine any potential flaw, whether it’s poor security settings, unencrypted passwords, or an unidentified vulnerability.

    By emulating the habits of cybercriminals, analysts can forestall the tactics of cybercriminals and create a security procedure that’s one step ahead of the bad guys. Professionals ought to carry out penetration tests at least once or twice a year, since cybersecurity attack strategies are constantly evolving.

    Security experts often use two types of penetration tests: black box and white box tests.


    1. White Box Testing (Static Application Security Testing)

    Also known as static application security testing, this testing is aimed at examining the security of a mobile app from the point of view of an informed hacker. Security experts try to acquire as much information on the explicit mobile app and network before executing the test. The security pros will carry out attacks based on their insights. White box testing takes less time than black box testing as it uses prior security investigations to guide the replicated attacks; nevertheless, it’s not as realistic.

    1. Black Box Testing

    Black box testing simulates how an uninformed intruder would try to abuse flaws. Security specialists launch numerous threats to assess the security strength of a mobile app. Although it simulates a more realistic attack than does a white box attack, cybersecurity experts may not be able to test some flaws owing to a lack of information about a particular app.

    Mobile Device Security and Protection: The Best Practices for Safety


    When a user agrees to your app’s terms and conditions, your company becomes responsible for the personal data of the user. Business apps are three times more likely to leak login credentials than the average app. If an app does not have suitable mobile security to defend against data leaks and flaws, your organization could be in huge trouble.

    Without exhaustive security testing, cybercriminals could infect your app with malware or spyware, leaving your users’ financial account information and personal credentials exposed. The official Apple and Google app stores do not strictly supervise apps — and without investing in in-depth mobile app security, cybercriminals could leverage your app to pilfer data and money, and seriously damage your organization’s reputation.

    Mobile Application Security Assessment

    Ace cybersecurity mavens can assess the strength of an application against recognized and possible threats to protect not only your users but also the organization from potential catastrophe. Proper valuations can give you confidence on the security of your mobile apps and APIs, as they cut risks, save time, and enforce actionable security measures to not only improve security but meet obligatory compliance.

    A specialized security assessment covering this testing is the best method to evaluate the security controls of your application. Data breaches cost organizations dearly, and public reporting of a breach can considerably affect a brand’s reputation. Since smartphone and mobile app use is likely to see a surge in the future, reliable mobile security is an absolute necessity.


    • Vulnerabilities
    • Security Updates
    • application security testing
    • Application Security Assessment
    • cybersecurity

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      Posted in Vulnerability

      What Is Patch Management and Why Is It Important?

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      By AMSAT Oct 29, 2020

      Why Patch Management Is Important

      Patch management is the method that helps attain, test and install several patches on current applications and software tools on a computer. This enables systems to keep updated on current patches and determine which patches are the suitable ones. This makes management of patches easy and simple.


      General areas that will need fixes include operating systems, applications, and embedded systems. When a weakness is found after the release of a piece of software, a patch can be used to rectify it, which helps ensure that assets in your environment are not prone to being exploited.


      Why do we need patch management? 

      Cybersecurity is the foremost reason why companies are using a patch management service, which is important for both highlighting and fixing vulnerabilities. With cyber-attacks becoming more widespread than ever, it’s important that businesses keep their devices updated to help stop cybercriminals from exploiting security flaws. In fact, with your devices fixed you are less likely to be impacted by a cyber-attack as nearly 70 percent of cyber-attacks exploit known flaws. A patched server or PC is less vulnerable to malware and other viruses.



      Unpatched software is also an attraction for malware, and attackers are vigorously targeting businesses whose IT systems aren’t fixed as they know they are much more likely to be successful. Applying security fixes in a timely way, highly minimizes the risk of having a security hole and all the pertinent problems that come with it, such as data theft, data loss, reputation issues or even legal penalties.


      Nevertheless, patch management can offer more than just highlighting and rectifying security flaws. It can help the company’s output as well. Having a service that updates your devices, regularly and proactively, keeps your infrastructure steady as patches can include performance enhancements and rectify mistakes which often cause your systems to crash. Working on the latest fix will help stop consistent crashes, leaving employees free to work without the annoyance of downtime.


      Key steps to the patch management process 

      Develop an up-to-date list of all your production systems

      Whether this is on a trimestral or monthly basis, this is the only way to accurately monitor what assets exist in your bionetwork. Meticulous asset management will help you get an up-to-date view of operating systems, version types, and IP addresses that exist, as well as their physical locations and organizational owners. As a thumb rule, the more often you maintain your asset inventory, the more informed you are likely to be.



      Formulate a plan for standardizing systems and operating systems

      Although it’s tough to enforce, standardizing your asset inventory makes patching quicker and more effective. With the rolling out of new patches, you’ll want to regulate your assets down to a wieldy number so that you can hasten your redress process, helping save both you and technical teams time spent remediating. Come up with a list of all security controls that are in place within your organization, and keep track of your firewalls, antivirus, and vulnerability management tool. You’ll also want to know where these are sitting, what they’re defending, and which assets are linked with them.


      Compare reported flaws with your inventory

      Taking advantage of your vulnerability management tool to evaluate which weaknesses exist for which assets in your ecosystem will help you appreciate your security risk as an organization. 


      Classify the risk

      Vulnerability management tools can help you easily manage which assets you consider to be important to your organization and, therefore, prioritize what needs to be remediated accordingly.



      Apply the patches to a demonstrative sample of assets in your lab environment. Stress test the machines to confirm that the patches will not create issues in your production setting.



      • Patch Management
      • Security Updates
      • Vulnerability
      • Cyber Security

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