PCI DSS Compliance Solutions


Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is an informational security standard designed for handling financial operations with branded credit cards. Major card brands such as Visa, MasterCard and American Express impose PCI DSS compliance requirements on any company conducting financial operations with them. PCI DSS compliance software needs to ensure the security of the system and monitor all access to data associated with the credit card and cardholder.


Ekran System is a scalable cost-effective solution that provides constant user monitoring on Windows, Linux, and Citrix servers and desktops and can impose an additional level of authentication allowing you to comply with the PCI DSS compliance program requirements. Ekran System records all user actions in an advanced indexed video format accompanied with relevant metadata regardless of the software used which make meeting PCI DSS in the cloud just as easy.


Requirement 8: Assign Unique ID to Each Person with Computer Access

Assigning a unique identification (ID) to each person with access ensures that each individual is uniquely accountable for his or her actions. When such accountability is in place, actions taken on critical data and systems are performed by, and can be traced to, known and authorized users. 


Note: These requirements are applicable for all accounts, including point-of-sale accounts, with administrative capabilities and all accounts used to view or access cardholder data or to access systems with cardholder data. However, Requirements 8.1, 8.2 and 8.5.8 through 8.5.15 are not intended to apply to user accounts within a point-of-sale payment application that only have access to one card number at a time in order to facilitate a single transaction (such as cashier accounts).


8.1 Assign all users a unique ID before allowing them to access system components or cardholder data.


8.2 In addition to assigning a unique ID, employ at least one of the following methods to authenticate all users:


Something you know, such as a password or passphrase

Something you have, such as a token device or smart card

Something you are, such as a biometric


8.3 Incorporate two-factor authentication for remote access (network-level access originating from outside the network) to the network by employees, administrators, and third parties. (For example, remote authentication and dial-in service (RADIUS) with tokens; terminal access controller access control system (TACACS) with tokens; or other technologies that facilitate two-factor authentication.)



Two-factor authentication requires that two of the three authentication methods (see Requirement 8.2 for descriptions of authentication methods) be used for authentication. Using one factor twice (for example, using two separate passwords) is not considered two-factor authentication.


8.4 Render all passwords unreadable during transmission and storage on all system components using strong cryptography.


8.5 Ensure proper user identification and authentication management for non-consumer users and administrators on all system components as follows:


8.5.1 Control addition, deletion, and modification of user IDs, credentials, and other identifier objects.


8.5.2 Verify user identity before performing password resets.


8.5.3 Set passwords for first-time use and resets to a unique value for each user and change immediately after the first use.

8.5.4 Immediately revoke access for any terminated users.


8.5.5 Remove/disable inactive user accounts at least every 90 days.


8.5.6 Enable accounts used by vendors for remote access only during the time period needed. Monitor vendor remote access accounts when in use.


8.5.7 Communicate authentication procedures and policies to all users who have access to cardholder data.


8.5.8 Do not use group, shared, or generic accounts and passwords, or other authentication methods.


8.5.9 Change user passwords at least every 90 days.


8.5.10 Require a minimum password length of at least seven characters.


8.5.11 Use passwords containing both numeric and alphabetic characters.


8.5.12 Do not allow an individual to submit a new password that is the same as any of the last four passwords he or she has used.


8.5.13 Limit repeated access attempts by locking out the user ID after not more than six attempts.


8.5.14 Set the lockout duration to a minimum of 30 minutes or until administrator enables the user ID.


8.5.15 If a session has been idle for more than 15 minutes, require the user to re-authenticate to re-activate the terminal or session.


8.5.16 Authenticate all access to any database containing cardholder data. This includes access by applications, administrators, and all other users.  Restrict user direct access or queries to databases to database administrators.


Ekran System provides a secondary authentication tool allowing you to identify unique users using shared accounts, such as “administrator”. At the start of the session a user is required to provide additional credentials which allows you to tie session video recording and all log data to that specific user.


Requirement 10: Track and monitor all access to network resources and cardholder data

Logging mechanisms and the ability to track user activities are critical in preventing, detecting, or minimizing the impact of a data compromise. The presence of logs in all environments allows thorough tracking, alerting, and analysis when something does go wrong. Determining the cause of a compromise is very difficult, if not impossible, without system activity logs.


10.1 Establish a process for linking all access to system components (especially access done with administrative privileges such as root) to each individual user.


10.2 Implement automated audit trails for all system components to reconstruct the following events:


10.2.1 All individual accesses to cardholder data


10.2.2 All actions taken by any individual with root or administrative privileges


10.2.3 Access to all audit trails


10.2.4 Invalid logical access attempts


10.2 5 Use of identification and authentication mechanisms


10.2.6 Initialization of the audit logs


10.2.7 Creation and deletion of system-level objects


10.3 Record at least the following audit trail entries for all system components for each event:


10.3.1 User identification


10.3.2 Type of event


10.3.3 Date and time


10.3.4 Success or failure indication


10.3.5 Origination of event


10.3.6 Identity or name of affected data, system component, or resource.


10.4 Using time-synchronization technology, synchronize all critical system clocks and times and ensure that the following is implemented for acquiring, distributing, and storing time. 


Note: One example of time synchronization technology is Network Time Protocol (NTP).


10.4.1 Critical systems have the correct and consistent time.


10.4.2 Time data is protected. 


10.4.3 Time settings are received from industry-accepted time sources.


10.5 Secure audit trails so they cannot be altered.


10.5.1 Limit viewing of audit trails to those with a job-related need.


10.5.2 Protect audit trail files from unauthorized modifications.


10.5.3 Promptly back up audit trail files to a centralized log server or media that is difficult to alter.


10.5.4 Write logs for external-facing technologies onto a log server on the internal LAN.


10.5.5 Use file-integrity monitoring or change-detection software on logs to ensure that existing log data cannot be changed without generating alerts (although new data being added should not cause an alert).


10.6 Review logs for all system components at least daily. Log reviews must include those servers that perform security functions like intrusion-detection system (IDS) and authentication, authorization, and accounting protocol (AAA) servers (for example, RADIUS).


Note: Log harvesting, parsing, and alerting tools may be used to meet compliance with Requirement 10.6.


10.7 Retain audit trail history for at least one year, with a minimum of three months immediately available for analysis (for example, online, archived, or restorable from back-up). 


Each internal Ekran System user is clearly identified by their own personal credentials. Actions of Ekran System users working with Management Tool are recorded in a separate internal log that can be accessed if needed. Ekran System provides you with a set of internal user permissions allowing you to control the level of access each specific user gets to various system components.


All reports of user activity can be exported via secure forensic export into an encrypted stand-alone data format signed with a unique digital signature, providing tightly protected portable audit data. Supporting MS SQL database, Ekran System provides access to all back up and data protection features it provides.


Ekran System helps you to meet these requirements:


Requirement 10.1. Ekran System carefully records all access to system components and clearly identifies it with a specific user name. Users of shared accounts can be identified by using the secondary authentication system.


Requirement 10.2. Ekran System records all activity during user session regardless of the application used.

  • Ekran System video recording can be used to monitor and control access to sensitive user data, including cardholder data.
  • Ekran System records actions of privileged users including system administrators. Privileged user will not be able to pause or stop the recording.
  • All recorded data is stored at the server in the compressed format. Administrators can access this data only in accordance with their permissions. Every instance of access is recorded in an internal user log.
  • By monitoring actions of privileged users Ekran System can be used to track any system changes including creation or removal of accounts and elevation of privileges.
  • Only users with explicit access to the Ekran System control panel can control the recording process. The user, whose actions are being recorded cannot stop or pause the recording regardless of the level of privilege they possess.
  • By monitoring actions of privileged users Ekran System can be used to track and control creation and deletion of any system level objects.


Requirement 10.3. Ekran System records all this data and other metadata. Besides being representative itself, each screenshot is supplemented with text metadata: active window title (full application name, document name, web site name, etc.), application name, user name, host name, session type, date and time.


Besides these norms, Ekran System also helps you to meet Requirement 10.4, 10.5 (10.5.1-10.5.3), 10.6 (10.6.1), and 10.7. See details on meeting particular compliance requirements with Ekran System in our white paper.


Ekran System provides an innovative cost-saving licensing scheme making it affordable for companies of any size. Free demo and trial version are also available.