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Key Changes in PCI DSS 4.0: What You Need to Know

Discover the latest updates and modifications in the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) version 4.0 that every business handling payment card data should be aware of.

Overview of PCI DSS 4.0

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a set of security standards that organizations must follow to protect cardholder data and ensure the secure processing of payment transactions.

PCI DSS version 4.0 is the latest update to these standards, introducing several key changes and enhancements.

This section provides an overview of the main updates and modifications in PCI DSS 4.0.

What Is Changing?

PCI DSS 4.0 brings significant changes to the existing requirements, aiming to enhance the security of cardholder data and address evolving threats and vulnerabilities.

Some of the key changes include:

- Strengthening of encryption and cryptography requirements

- Expanded multifactor authentication

- Introduction of new requirements for service providers

- Emphasis on secure development practices

These changes are designed to improve the protection of payment card data and mitigate the risk of data breaches.

Enhanced PCI DSS Security Requirements

PCI DSS 4.0 introduces enhanced security requirements to ensure organizations have robust controls in place to protect cardholder data.

Some of the key enhanced security requirements include:

- Increased focus on secure configurations for systems and software

- Strengthened requirements for secure password management

- Enhanced security testing and monitoring

- Implementation of secure coding practices

By implementing these enhanced security requirements, organizations can enhance their overall security posture and reduce the risk of data breaches.

Focus on Emerging Technologies

PCI DSS 4.0 recognizes the importance of emerging technologies and their impact on the payment card industry.

The updated standards provide guidance on how organizations should address the security challenges associated with new technologies such as mobile payments, cloud computing, and Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

By focusing on emerging technologies, PCI DSS 4.0 ensures that organizations are prepared to securely adopt and integrate these technologies while maintaining the security of cardholder data.

Impact on Small Businesses

PCI DSS 4.0 takes into consideration the unique challenges faced by small businesses in achieving compliance with the security standards.

The updated standards provide flexibility and guidance specifically tailored to small businesses, allowing them to implement security controls effectively without imposing unnecessary burdens.

By understanding the impact of PCI DSS 4.0 on small businesses, organizations can ensure they meet the compliance requirements in a cost-effective and efficient manner.

Getting Ready for Compliance

Preparing for compliance with PCI DSS 4.0 requires organizations to assess their current security controls and identify any gaps that need to be addressed.

This section provides guidance on the steps organizations should take to prepare for compliance, including:

- Conducting a thorough risk assessment

- Implementing necessary security controls

- Training employees on security best practices

- Engaging with qualified security assessors

By following these steps, organizations can ensure they are ready to meet the requirements of PCI DSS 4.0 and protect cardholder data effectively.

Strategies for Achieving and Communicating Compliance

Achieving and communicating compliance with PCI DSS 4.0 requires a strategic approach.

This section provides strategies and best practices for organizations to achieve and communicate compliance effectively, including:

- Establishing a compliance team

- Developing and implementing a compliance roadmap

- Conducting regular security assessments

- Documenting and maintaining compliance evidence

By following these strategies, organizations can ensure a smooth and successful compliance process and demonstrate their commitment to protecting cardholder data.


PCI DSS 4.0 introduces significant changes and enhancements to the security standards that organizations must follow to protect cardholder data.

This blog post provided an overview of the key changes in PCI DSS 4.0, including enhanced security requirements, focus on emerging technologies, impact on small businesses, and strategies for achieving compliance.

Some key points to consider when transitioning to PCI DSS v4.0.

  • The 12 principal PCI DSS requirement areas remain the same.
  • PCI DSS v3.2.1 will be retired on 31 March 2024. 
  • Enhanced risk management, Governance and oversight are expected from entities.
  • Introduction of 64 new requirements – 13 requirements are effective immediately and 51 requirements to be complied with from 01 April 2025.
  • Introduction of the Customised Approach – Flexibility in meeting individual security objectives.
  • Requirement for entities to clearly assign roles and responsibilities for each PCI DSS requirement.
  • Significant additional guidance on implementing and assessing PCI DSS is included in the standard.

By staying informed about these changes and taking the necessary steps to comply with PCI DSS 4.0, organizations can ensure the security of payment card data and reduce the risk of data breaches.

Additional Guidance

For more detailed guidance on PCI DSS 4.0 and achieving compliance, organizations can refer to the official PCI Security Standards Council documentation and resources.

These resources provide comprehensive information and guidelines to help organizations understand and implement the requirements of PCI DSS 4.0 effectively.

By utilizing these additional guidance materials, organizations can ensure they have the necessary knowledge and support to achieve and maintain compliance with PCI DSS 4.0.


PCI Applicability Information in the PCI DSS v4.0: