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Business and Policy Areas
Business and Policy Areas

Credit Card Data Security Standards Got You Up at Night?

June 27, 2007

PCI-DSS Resources

These resources can help you understand and comply with the data security standards that apply to organizations accepting credit card payments and processing such transactions.

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) includes requirements for security management, policies, procedures, network architecture, software design, and other critical protective measures. This comprehensive standard is intended to help organizations proactively protect customer account data.

New standards for data security, the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, are showing promise for protecting payment cardholder information—a large area of data vulnerability for higher education institutions.  The results from an online survey highlight common needs for implementing these rules, and illustrate different compliance approaches.

To the extent that colleges and universities accept credit card payments for tuition, fees, goods, or other services, they have contractual obligations to fulfill the data security standards established by the payment card industry. Some colleges and universities see the standards as a potential model for the handling of all types of sensitive institutional data; they’re exploring how to apply the standards to other types of information collected, stored, and distributed on campus networks.

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) serves as an open global forum for the ongoing development, enhancement, storage, dissemination, and implementation of security standards for account data protection. Its mission is to enhance payment account data security by fostering broad adoption of the PCI Security Standards. NACUBO and the Treasury Institute recently partnered to join the Council, enabling higher education's voice to be heard when the Council reviews security standards and develops resources for organizations subject to those standards.

The Treasury Institute for Higher Education has been the focal point for helping colleges and universities to become PCI DSS compliant, hosting two workshops for the higher education community. It has also published a whitepaper for higher education and a checklist of best practices and recently created a blog. Edited by two of NACUBO’s representatives on the PCI Security Standards Council, the blog features news and developments from the Council and gives you the opportunity to make comments and ask questions. Visit the blog frequently to ensure our representatives know what’s on your mind.

The EDUCAUSE/Internet2 Computer and Network Security Task Force has established a technical advisory group on PCI DSS that is coordinating its activities with the task force’s Effective IT Security Practices and Solutions Group. One of the blog’s editors is working closely with this advisory group.