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PCI Requirement 5

by Andrew Freeborn
July 14, 2016

The Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) maintains, evolves, and promotes Payment Card Industry standards for the safety of cardholder data across the globe. The PCI SSC provides technical and operational requirements for organizations accepting or processing payment transactions. The guidance also applies to software developers and manufacturers of applications and devices used in those transactions.

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) helps entities understand and implement standards for security policies, technologies, and ongoing processes that protect payment systems from breaches and theft of cardholder data. The standards have historically been revised on a 2-3 year cycle, but the PCI SSC is transitioning to a posture of revising the PCI DSS as required based on changes to the current threat landscape. The current standard revision is PCI DSS Version 3.2, released in April 2016. Any organization that handles payment card information must adhere to the PCI DSS and must demonstrate compliance annually. Tenable's Tenable.sc Continuous View (CV) is able to help organizations monitor ongoing PCI DSS compliance by integrating with Tenable Nessus, Tenable Nessus Network Monitor (NNM), and Tenable Log Correlation Engine (LCE).

The PCI Requirement 5 ARC analyzes policy statements related to the fifth PCI DSS requirement. This requirement mandates organizations to defend the organization with anti-virus products. Malware continues to threaten all organizations and while anti-virus products cannot stop all threats, they can still help to protect the organization. Administrators need to ensure that definitions and engine updates for anti-virus products are updated regularly as well as configured to vendor and industry best practices. Anti-virus products can still be exploited and be a vector attackers use to compromise an organization.

Anti-virus software working in conjunction with products such as LCE can greatly increase the visibility of threats for analysts. LCE can understand the unique events with anti-virus products to intelligently normalize the event to actionable information. Analysts need to be aware of not only when anti-virus definitions are out of date, but when the engines within the anti-virus products are not updated. Security teams can use this ARC to identify systems with anti-virus events that could potentially harm the organization and to assist analysts to adhere with requirement 5 of PCI DSS.

Organizations can configure repositories or asset lists in order to tailor the focus of the ARC. When the ARC is added from the Tenable.sc Feed, the appropriate assets, IP addresses, or repositories can be specified. Assigning one of the options to the ARC will update all filters in the policy statements. By creating static or combination asset lists that include all systems in the Cardholder Data Environment (CDE), each policy statement can be filtered to display results directly related to ongoing PCI security. Using an asset list filter will also allow traffic into and out of the CDE to be monitored. In order to accurately measure an organization’s PCI security posture, asset lists need to be applied as filters to provide results focused on the CDE.

This ARC is available in the Tenable.sc Feed, a comprehensive collection of dashboards, reports, Assurance Report Cards, and assets. The ARC can be easily located in the Tenable.sc Feed under the category Compliance. The ARC requirements are:

  • Tenable.sc 5.3.1
  • Nessus 8.5.1
  • LCE 6.0.0

Tenable's Tenable.sc Continuous View (CV) provides continuous network monitoring, anti-virus vulnerability identification, and PCI security monitoring. Tenable.sc is continuously updated with information about advanced threats and zero-day vulnerabilities, and new types of PCI regulatory compliance configuration audit files. Tenable constantly analyzes information from our unique sensors, delivering continuous visibility and critical context, enabling decisive action that transforms your security program from reactive to proactive. Analysts can use this information to analyze anti-virus events to ensure those products are relatively up to date. Active scanning examines the devices on the systems, running processes and services, configuration settings, and vulnerabilities. With this information, analysts have greater insight to determine if virus activity is operating within the organization. Continually scanning the network, servers, desktops and applications helps prioritize security efforts to mitigate threats and weaknesses. With active and passive scanning, analysts can detect virus activity and remediate the infection. Tenable enables powerful, yet non-disruptive, continuous monitoring of the organization to ensure virus events are available to analysts.

This ARC includes the following policy statements:

All systems have anti-virus software installed (5.1): This policy statement displays the ratio of systems with anti-virus software installed to total systems. If the policy statement requirement is met, the result is displayed in green; otherwise, the result is displayed in red. All systems should have active and up-to-date anti-virus software installed to protect against malware infections. Systems without anti-virus protection or with outdated software should be reconfigured to ensure that current anti-virus software is installed, running, and able to receive updates. Organization can use this information to identify and resolve anti-virus software issues on systems.

No systems have detected virus events (5.1.1): This policy statement displays the number of systems with virus events to total systems. If the policy statement requirement is met, the result is displayed in green; otherwise, the result is displayed in red. Organizations may experience sporadic virus events within the network. Viruses may come from external drives, email attachments or viruses hidden within malicious applications. All systems should have active and up-to-date anti-virus software installed to protect against virus infections. Systems without anti-virus protection or with outdated software should be reconfigured to ensure that current anti-virus software is installed, running, and able to receive updates. Organization can use this information to identify and resolve viruses detected on systems.

All systems have up-to-date anti-virus software (5.2): This policy statement displays the ratio of systems with active and up-to-date antivirus protection to total systems. If the policy statement requirement is met, the result is displayed in green; otherwise, the result is displayed in red. All systems should have active and up-to-date antivirus software installed to protect against malware infections. Organization can use this information to identify and resolve anti-virus software issues on systems.

No anti-malware compliance checks failed (5.3): This policy statement displays the number of failed to total anti-malware compliance checks. If the policy statement requirement is met, the result is displayed in green; otherwise, the result is displayed in red. Anti-malware settings may include requirements to use and regularly update anti-virus software, among other things. Compliance is measured against those policy checks that reference one or more of the following standards:

  • PCI DSS requirement 5 (Protect all systems against malware and regularly update anti-virus software or programs)
  • Cybersecurity Framework DE.CM-4 (Malicious code is detected)
  • NIST 800-53 control SI-3 (MALICIOUS CODE PROTECTION)
  • Center for Internet Security Critical Security Control 8 (Malware Defenses)
  • DoD Instruction 8500.2 control ECVP-1 (Virus Protection)
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