How does a WAF contribute to PCI DSS compliance for E-commerce websites?

How does a WAF contribute to PCI DSS compliance for E-commerce websites?

October 17, 2023

What is PCI DSS compliance?

PCI DSS stands for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards, which is a set of security standards designed to ensure that all companies that accept, process, store, or transmit credit card information maintain a secure environment. These standards were developed by major credit card companies like Visa, MasterCard, and American Express to protect sensitive cardholder data and reduce the risk of data breaches and fraud.

PCI DSS compliance involves a set of requirements and security best practices, including network security, data protection, vulnerability management, access control, monitoring and testing, information security policy, incident response

PCI DSS applies to all service providers, merchandise, and E-commerce sites that accept payment card information. This is a compliance that is required to be validated every year to demonstrate to their customers or clients, that the company’s environment is secure and trustworthy.

It is highly crucial to protect the data of clients and customers from being leaked or stolen by hackers. E-commerce websites with a payment gateway are the ones that are frequently operated and targeted by malicious hackers to gain access to sensitive information, such as credit/debit card numbers, PIN numbers, etc. PCI DSS standards are a set of guidelines or requirements that are outlined. These requirements help in protecting sensitive data.

Types of data under PCI DSS

Sensitive data may not necessarily have to be the credit card number, it can be the data stored in the magnetic stripe, expiration dates mentioned on the cards, the service codes, PIN numbers, CVV digits, name of the cardholder, PAN card number, Unique ID proofs of any kind that is accidentally or purposefully exposed can prove as a grave danger to the individuals’ financial accounts and also to the reputation of the organization itself.

In order to prevent such risks, it is vital for companies, especially E-commerce websites to make sure that they follow the standard rules and regulations set by the PCI SSC (Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council). The PCI SSC is the body that is responsible for laying down the PCI DSS compliance standards that are to be followed.

The business owners are held responsible for the loss of sensitive data to a cyber attack. This could lead to penalties and large amounts of fines as a cost to pay for the careless handling of privileged information. Having said this, data breaches do not just affect the reputation of the brand but they also affect the trust of the customers. This could also lead to a chain of legal action taken against the company itself and a significant loss of investments and revenue. The compliance standards also state that in the event of an organization is found to be non-compliant with the PCI DSS regulations, various penalties and consequences await. Some of them are:

  • PCI non-compliance fines 
  • GDPR fees 
  • Suspension of credit cards 
  • Mandatory forensic examination
  • Liability for fraud changes. 

Importance of implementing a WAF for an E-commerce website 

Implementing a Web Application Firewall for an E-commerce website can prove to be extensively beneficial as serves as a gatekeeper and serves as an extra layer of security for the website. It filters the incoming traffic and takes appropriate measures to accommodate only the authentic requests to pass through its robust security system. It also helps protect the website against hackers, botnets, malware attacks and many more malicious cyber attacks. A WAF also assists in tracking the HTTP traffic and observing the behaviour of the users to prevent the ones that are suspicious from creating any damage to the networking systems.

Implementing a WAF for an E-commerce website is deemed as a matter of grave importance, taking into account the sensitive information that might be at stake it if does fall into the wrong hands.

By deploying a WAF, E-commerce websites can:

  1. Protect their sensitive data from being breached.
  2. Filter incoming and outgoing traffic to block the suspicious ones.
  3. Detect and stop malware attacks.
  4. Have a check on suspicious files and URLs.
  5. Prevent hackers from uploading the shell script to access the website and take full control of it. 
  6. Block malicious bots that spam the organization.
  7. Helps in shielding the server from disclosure of client intel. 
  8. Assists in patching vulnerabilities at an early stage
  9. Helps deliver quicker responses at ease and enforce policies faster.
  10. Enables to have control over the WAF to customise the WAF rules as per requirements. 
  11. Build trust among customers.

PCI DSS compliance requirements for E-commerce web security

PCI DSS compliance proposes a set of requirements that are to be implemented in an E-commerce website to make it possible for it to be compliant according to the PCI DSS compliance standards. The implementation of the PCI requirements directly impacts the compliance of the website. It is important to be informed of these requirements.

  1. Configure a Firewall to protect the cardholder data.
  2. It is not recommended to use vendor-supplied default system passwords as a security parameter. 
  3. Secure saved cardholder information.
  4. Transmissions of the cardholder data are to be encrypted across open and public networks. 
  5. It is important to make use of anti-virus software and make sure they are regularly updated. 
  6. Develop a secure application system.
  7. Assign a unique ID for every person using a computer.
  8. Restrict access to cardholders’ data.
  9. Restrict cardholders’ data access only to authorized team members. 
  10. Constantly monitor the access of the network resources and the cardholders’ data.
  11. Frequent security tests on systems and processes can help prevent cyber attacks.
  12. Maintain a policy to address the information security of all personnel. 

How does WAF protection help in PCI DSS compliance?

The deployment of a WAF proves to be essential for an E-commerce website or company to stay PCI DSS compliant. This helps organisations build a long-lasting and trusting relationship with their customers. A WAF helps secure the data against common web application attacks such as SQL injection, RFIs and other malicious cyber threats. The efficient use of a WAF can help prevent potential perpetrators from gaining access to sensitive information. Businesses can safeguard against application layer attacks by implementing a WAF as it inspects all incoming traffic and filters out malicious attacks. Modshield SB Web Application Firewall (WAF) is easy to deploy and configure. By implementing this WAF you can be sure that cyber threats are detected round-the-clock in real-time and are filtered out.

Experience ultimate website security with Modshield SB WAF - Protect Today!

Experience ultimate website security with Modshield SB WAF - Protect Today!

Stay protected from cyber threats with Modshield SB (WAF) - Your first line of defense for application security.