The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a set of comprehensive requirements for enhancing payment account data security. It was developed by the founding payment brands of the PCI Security Standards Council, including American Express, Discover Financial Services, JCB, MasterCard Worldwide and Visa International, to help facilitate the broad adoption of consistent data security measures.  The University of Washington has a contractual obligation to follow the PCI DSS.

The standard consists of twelve basic requirements, and corresponding subrequirements, categorized as follows:

Build and Maintain a Secure Network and Systems 1. Install and maintain a firewall configuration to protect cardholder data.
2. Do not use vendor-supplied defaults for system passwords and other security parameters.
Protect Cardholder Data 3. Protect stored cardholder data
4. Encrypt transmission of cardholder data across open, public networks
Maintain a Vulnerability Management Program 5. Protect all systems against malware and regularly update anti-virus software or programs.
6. Develop and maintain secure systems and applications.
Implement Strong Access Control Measures 7. Restrict access to cardholder data by business need to know.
8. Identify and authenticate access to system components.
9. Restrict physical access to cardholder data.
Regularly Monitor and Test Networks 10. Track and monitor all access to network resources and cardholder data.
11. Regularly test security systems and processes.
Maintain an Information Security Policy 12. Maintain a policy that addresses information security for all personnel.

Meeting the twelve requirements are dependent on the type of payment card transactions you are accepting.  The table below courtesy of SecurityMetrics illustrates the differences.  Please contact if you have any questions on determining what type of merchant you are.

SAQ Description Number of Questions Vulnerability Scan Penetration Testing

E-Commerce website (third party)

  • Fully outsourced card acceptance and processing
  • Merchant website provides an iFrame or URL that redirects a consumer to a third-party payment processor
  • Merchant cannot impact the security of the payment transaction
22 N N

E-Commerce website (direct post)

  • Merchant website accepts payment using direct post or transparent redirect service
191 Y Y

Processes cards via: 

  • Analog phone, fax, or stand-alone terminal
  • Cellular phone (voice), or stand-alone terminal
  • Knuckle buster/imprint machine
41 N N

Processes cards via: 

  • Internet-based stand-alone terminal isolated from other devices on the network
82 Y N

Processes cards:

  • One at a time via keyboard into a virtual terminal
  • On an isolated network at one location
  • No swipe device
79 N N

Payment application systems connected to the Internet:

  • Virtual terminal (Not C-VT eligible)
  • IP terminal (Not B-IP eligible)
  • Mobile device (smartphone/tablet) with a card-processing application or swipe device
  • View or handle cardholder data via the Internet
  • POS with tokenization
160 Y N

E-Commerce website

  • Merchant website accepts payment and does not use a direct post or transparent redirect service

Electronic storage of card data

  • POS system not utilizing tokenization or P2PE
  • Merchant stores card data electronically (email, e-fax, recorded calls, etc.)
329 Y Y

Point-to-Point Encryption

  • Validated PCI P2PE hardware payment terminal solution only
  • Merchant specifies they qualify for the P2PE questionnaire
33 N N