05:45 PM
Connect Directly

Can You Buy PCI Compliance?

Cisco and security vendors would like you to think so, but some CIOs aren't so sure.

It's no surprise that vendors have swarmed around the PCI Data Security Standard. It already has generated a mini-industry of Qualified Security Assessors and certified scanning companies. While it's true that many retailers need to invest in new hardware and software, the fact is, compliance is a process, not a product. But hardware and software vendors are still packaging pieces of their portfolios as "PCI enablers."

For instance, Cisco Systems has developed a 380-page design guide to help customers build a PCI architecture--featuring, of course, lots of Cisco gear, including routers, switches, firewalls, and wireless devices. But Cisco is careful to say its architecture is PCI-validated, not compliant. "No product can guarantee compliance," says Ed Jimenez, director of market management for Cisco retail. He notes that retail is a fast-growing segment of Cisco's business but says the company doesn't break out revenue generated by PCI.

InformationWeek Reports

Smaller vendors are also getting in on the act. LogLogic, Arsenal Data Security, and SecureWorks recently launched a "PCI Starter Package." It includes LogLogic's LX1010 log management appliance and a PCI gap analysis conducted by Arsenal. SecureWorks will manage the appliance for free for two months.

Many retailers can spot the opportunism a mile away. The CIO of a Level 2 outdoor equipment company says he and his IT staff get calls every day from vendors pitching PCI compliance. "There's a swarm of people that are misleading the industry by saying that they can do this. It's not about hardware or software."

Alan Stukalsky, CIO of Church's Chicken, has had similar experiences. "Vendors are coming in: 'Here's a $50,000 device that will help you get certified,'" he says. "We said, 'No thanks.'"

Return to the story:
PCI And The Circle Of Blame

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Top IT Trends to Watch in Financial Services
IT pros at banks, investment houses, insurance companies, and other financial services organizations are focused on a range of issues, from peer-to-peer lending to cybersecurity to performance, agility, and compliance. It all matters.
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on for the week of August 21, 2016. We'll be talking with the editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.