How to Achieve PCI Compliance on AWS


Making Your System PCI-DSS Compliant on AWS

Did you know that Amazon Web Services now offers customers and merchants a different, more effective way to complete online transactions? As a merchant, you can use AWS to create sophisticated applications for analyzing and storing data. You can also use the data to acquire new buyers. One vital component to the success of AWS is decreasing the risk of data theft via PCI compliance. If you are a merchant running an Amazon Web Service business, PCI compliance is challenging. It is also a surmountable challenge.

PCI is the Payment Card Industry Designated to Safeguard Transactions

The acronym PCI stands for Payment Card Industry. It is designed to safeguard businesses that analyze, collect, accept and store credit card information. PCI standards have been around for a while. They were first established in 2006 as a way to decrease risk of data theft that could occur with online payment transactions.

Since you are a business owner, you have the total responsibility for integrating PCI DSS. It is the responsibility of PCI DSS council to administer the program to provide responsive and up-to-date information in the online payment transaction world.

What are the PCI DSS Compliance Components?

PCI DSS compliance involves protecting customer cardholder information stored by a business or merchant. While PCI DDS includes more than 100 policies both businesses and merchants should enforce, there are a few that must be followed. These policies are key to protecting customer credit card data:

  • You must regulate security framework to look for any vulnerabilities
  • Merchants must ensure their systems and networks have secure firewalls
  • You must encrypt related credit card information prior to storing or sending it
  • You must create a system with access controls
  • You must ensure your network and systems have secure firewalls
  • You must continuously monitor your networks

This is Why PCI DSS Compliance for AWS Merchants is So Important

You may not know this, but Amazon Web Service platform uses a shared security responsibility model. Thus, no CHD data processing, transmission or storage is available on the AWS platform. Since you are a merchant, you will often place information into the AWS system. This makes your information susceptible to credit card hackers. This means these transactions requires you to implement some protective strategies to ensure your IT system is PCI DSS compliant.

The Important System Access Points Hackers Manipulate to Obtain Credit Card Data

  • They use data sent over a network or point that is not encrypted.
  • They hack an AWS infrastructure that doesn’t have a developed compliance strategy
  • While transferring a large volume of data onto AWS cloud, the data volume reduces the transmission rate. This slow down allows time for hackers to enter the program and manipulate one or more programs
  • The infrastructure and systems are exposed to outsiders because of a lack of multifactor authentication; which is why companies like Auth0 & Centrify are continuing to grow.

What You Need to Know to Make Your AWS Infrastructure PCI-DSS

Maybe you are already using Cloud as a way to grow your business. There are plenty of companies out there that will help with AWS like Parquantix, who can also help you establish a better cost infrastructure with AWS. If you are, here are some approaches you can use to include PCI DSS compliance in your business such as:

Elastic Load Balancing

Elastic Load Balancing, also called ELB, is a vital component in many AWS-powered applications. To increase transmission, use component to route incoming information to different targets. ELB first checks the health status of all incoming requests, then sends them. There are three sub-variations of ELB. Classic Load Balancers (CLB) are responsible for distributing all traffic coming through lawyers 3 and 4. CLB component provides you with your own personalized application cookie. CLB functions on EC2-VPC and EC2-Classic platforms and work on variations such as HTTPS, SSL, and TCP.

Network Load Balancers (NLB) also works on the fourth layer. It is a second-generation load balancer. Once it receives a connection, the load balancer creates nodes. These nodes are used to distribute traffic to various targets. It has a fault tolerant. This means you can connect where you find a healthy request.

Application Load Balancers (ALB) are for microservices where traffic can be routed to multiple services on one EC2 instance. This is different from CLB. ALB won’t support Back-end Server Authentication. ALB only functions on specific platforms such as EC2-VPC.

Amazon has a Virtual Private Cloud

With Amazon Virtual Private Cloud, you create a virtual network from your AWS Cloud. You can use the network to store vital custom data. The VPC resembles traditional networks. This means you can create personalized data center to store vital information.

In addition, VPC adds more security layers via the popular Transport Layer Security (TLS) and Secure Socket Layer (SSL). These layers act as communication points on your computer. They exchange information between various terminals. It is important to note that two layers may protect data. However, it often slows the rate of transmission of data across terminals.

The Ways You Can Incorporate AWS into Your Business

AWS provides you with a personalized environment for fast and safe online transactions. You receive a secure, cheap, reliable and scalable platform that grows as your digital brand grows.

However, to benefit from what AWS has to offer, you must know how to incorporate it into your business.

Amazon Machine Image, or AMI, is a configured AWS template allowing you to create a virtual computer. This virtual computer is initiated in certain situations such as updating customer information and using a shopping cart.

Application programming interfaces is the point of interaction on AWS. This is where you customize and create your cloud-based environment. By customizing it, your customers can search for services and products that meet their online needs.

PCI compliance is the key to your growth and success in an AWS platform. While the beginning stages of PCI compliance is complicated and steep, successful implementation is possible. It will open a pathway to continuous growth as your customers trust you more and more with their credit card data.

Author Bio

ken lynch reciprocityKen Lynch is an enterprise software startup veteran, who has always been fascinated about what drives workers to work and how to make work more engaging. Ken founded Reciprocity to pursue just that. He has propelled Reciprocity’s success with this mission-based goal of engaging employees with the governance, risk, and compliance goals of their company in order to create more socially minded corporate citizens. Ken earned his BS in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from MIT.  Learn more at

About Carson Derrow

My name is Carson Derrow I'm an entrepreneur, professional blogger, and marketer from Arkansas. I've been writing for startups and small businesses since 2012. I share the latest business news, tools, resources, and marketing tips to help startups and small businesses to grow their business.

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