4 Key Features to Look for in Your PCI Software

So you’re looking for a PCI compliance software to help you comply with regulatory statutes. While there are many options out there, it is important to note not all are created equal. Better yet, one software could be a better fit than another based on your businesses’ needs and desires. But as the hacking world continues to get more sophisticated, it is important to make sure to not only use a compliance software but also find one that best defends against unapproved changes within your system.

So, to help find the best tool for you and your business, here are 4 key features to look for in a PCI solution.

1. Proactive Change Management

In an interview hosted by TechTarget, Pete Lindstrom, research director of Spire Security, mentioned that if you’re “creating a change management process because you don't want anything to change, you are missing the point." If this is the case, a poorly implemented change management process could serve more as a gating factor and would only slow a business’ growth. Therefore, you should always look to improve your systems but, at the same time, you should also make sure to have a file integrity monitoring (FIM) software to secure your good changes and reject those that are malicious.

So what else should a proactive change management software do for you and your business besides accept good changes and decline the others? For starters, you’ll want to find a software that can detect a change and capture it at the exact moment it occurs. From there, some software can provide you with a detailed audit trail, collecting:

  • Where the change was made
  • When the change took place
  • Who made the change
  • How the change was made
  • What was changed

In addition to collecting this extremely valuable information for your investigations, some software can include modes allowing you to completely prevent or instantly revert changes to critical systems. PCI software such as these are created to go a step further to detect and respond to unexpected changes so that your critical business functions remain available to employees, customers, and suppliers.

2. Auditing Capabilities

When it comes time for the dreaded audit, your organization must be able to demonstrate compliance by producing an audit trail. These audit trails are often generated by data from an event log management software, including those that can go above and beyond the standard regulatory compliance software.

For instance, software such as these allow you to integrate with other aggregate and management tools. By doing so, private and public companies and government agencies can more easily comply with strict standards and regulatory compliance mandates, such as: HIPAA, PCI, SOX.

In addition to their intuitive integrations, you want to strongly consider software that automatically tracks and documents any and all changes to servers, network devices, and applications. This will allow you to not only present an audit in a timely manner but also be alerted of the activity.

3. Integrated Ticketing

The next feature you may want to consider for PCI compliance software is integrated ticketing. Integrated ticketing uses ticket modules to plan for and automatically promote good changes and allows for notes and approvals for reconciliation. One key thing to consider here is your existing service stack. For instance, some ticketing-carrying compliance software can also provide a base and integrate with vendors such as:

So if you’re currently using any support softwares such as these, it may be beneficial for you to find a PCI compliance software that will integrate well with them.

4. Automatic Vendor Change Identification

As you and your team continue to make good changes, wouldn’t it be great to have a software that could automatically identify valid changes and eliminate false positives?

An automatic vendor change identification is another feature to keep an eye out for when considering a new PCI compliance software as it can integrate with a cloud-based service that would allow security professionals to automatically identify changes due to patches and updates. As a result, much of the noise caused by valid changes is eliminated so that users can focus on creating good changes and spotting those that are unapproved. From both a convenience and efficiency standpoint, this kind of functionality can save your business time and money.

Looking to find a FIM software to help with PCI compliance? Download our PCI DSS Solution brief today.

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Jacqueline von Ogden

Since 1999, Jacqueline has written for corporate communications, MarCom agencies, higher education, and worked within the pharmacy, steel and retail industries. Since joining the tech industry, she has found her "home".