Friday, December 11, 2009

Securing a PCI compliant vendor

Seven restaurants are suing Radiant Systems and Computer World for producing and selling insecure systems that led to security breaches, which then led to fines and other costs for the breached companies.

The restaurants claim that they were sold a product that was not PCI compliant, and the two vendors should be held responsible for the data lost and the money spent as a result of the breach.

Radiant Systems is a point of sale terminal company and Computer World is the company that sold and maintained the Radiant Systems product. The question is, should the vendors or the restaurants be held responsible for the data breach? After reading a blog that left the matter undetermined, it was necessary to clear up the confusion.

First off, a ROC or SAQ from the restaurants must have signed off on the product. As a certified QSA, the first thing we would do is check the PCI list to ensure that the product is listed. The point of sale system is certified by version. While version 1.0 of the product may be certified, 1.5 may not be. The restaurants should have spent the time and money to determine that the vendors and the products purchased would be keeping their company data secure, and they clearly did not.

Anyone can say they are PCI compliant. It's a very lucrative business right now, and many people are falsely claiming compliance to make money. As a business who is interested in hiring a vendor to provide or implement a product, it is your responsibility to research the vendor and choose the best product. Ultimately, the fault falls upon the breached restaurants.

An easy way to prevent situations like this in your company:

  • Look at the PCI list. PCI provides an Approved Service Provider list that includes products, product versions and the codes used. Before bringing in any vendor to your company, check the list to be sure their product is PCI compliant.

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