The PCI Glossary: Everything You Need to Know About PCI Compliance

You may have heard the term “PCI compliance” bandied about, but what does it actually mean? PCI compliance is a set of regulations that apply to any business that processes, stores, or transmits credit card information.

If your business falls into any of these categories, it’s important to understand the PCI compliance process and what is required of you. This glossary will help you do just that. Here, you’ll find definitions of key terms related to PCI compliance, as well as explanations of what each term means for your business.

What Is PCI Compliance?

In short, PCI compliance is a set of regulations that require companies to adhere to a certain security standard in order to protect customer credit card data. This applies to any business that processes, stores or transmits payment card information.

If you’re not familiar with PCI compliance, it can seem like a daunting and confusing topic. But don’t worry, we’re here to help! In this glossary, we’ll define all the key terms and concepts related to PCI compliance. We’ll also help you understand what’s required of your business in order to become PCI compliant.

Why Is PCI Compliance Important?

PCI compliance is important because it protects your customers’ data. When your customers’ data is protected, it gives them peace of mind that their information is safe. And that’s something they’ll appreciate.

PCI compliance also helps protect your business. It makes sure that your customers’ data is kept safe and that you’re not held liable if that data is compromised. In the long run, this can save you a lot of money and headaches.

What Are the PCI DSS Requirements?

The PCI Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a set of requirements designed to ensure that all companies that process, store or transmit cardholder data maintain a secure environment.

The requirements are extensive, and cover everything from the security of your network to the storage of cardholder data. You can find the full list of requirements on the PCI Council website.

But in a nutshell, here are some of the key requirements:

-You must use strong passwords and encryption methods

-You must install a firewall and intrusion detection system

-You must monitor your systems for suspicious activity

-You must keep cardholder data securely stored

What Is a Qualified Security Assessor (QSA)?

A Qualified Security Assessor (QSA) is a professional who is qualified to validate an organization’s compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).

The QSA is responsible for conducting on-site assessments to ensure that an organization has fully implemented all of the necessary technical and organizational controls to meet the requirements of the PCI DSS.

Organizations that are looking to become pci compliant definition must have their compliance validated by a QSA. In order to be qualified as a QSA, an individual must possess extensive knowledge of information security and must be proficient in all aspects of the PCI DSS.

What Is a Payment Application Data Security Standard (PA-DSS)?

The Payment Application Data Security Standard (PA-DSS) is a security standard for payment applications. It was created by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) to help businesses ensure that their payment applications are secure.

PA-DSS applies to any software or service that stores, processes, or transmits cardholder data. This includes point-of-sale (POS) systems, web-based payment applications, and mobile payment apps.

To be PA-DSS compliant, an application must:

– Use strong encryption to protect cardholder data

– Do not store sensitive data unnecessarily

– Have strong security controls to prevent unauthorized access

– Be tested by an independent third party to ensure compliance


The PCI glossary is a helpful tool for understanding the various terms and acronyms associated with PCI compliance. However, it’s important to remember that PCI compliance is a complex and ever-changing topic, and this glossary is only meant to be a starting point for your research.

If you’re looking to achieve PCI compliance, it’s important to partner with a qualified provider who can help you navigate the complexities of the PCI DSS. With the right partner, you can be confident that you’re meeting all of the requirements for PCI compliance and keeping your data safe.