How to Implement PCI DSS 4.0 in Your Ecommerce Store in 4 Steps

Photo of the author: Felipe Gonzalez

Felipe Gonzalez


2 min read.


If your ecommerce business accepts, processes or stores credit card data, it is crucial that you comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) version 4.0. This regulation helps protect your customers and your business from fraud and security breaches. In this article, we'll walk you through the 4 key steps to effectively implement PCI DSS 4.0 in your online store and the benefits you'll gain.

1. Assess the PCI DSS Scope and Determine the Applicable SAQ:

The first step is to determine the PCI DSS scope for your ecommerce business. Identify all the systems, networks, and processes that handle, process, store or transmit credit card data. This includes your website, payment gateways, databases, and any other relevant components. Once you've defined the scope, you need to determine the Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ) type that applies to your environment.

Do you know which SAQ type you need for your ecommerce business? There are different options:

- SAQ A: For merchants with fully outsourced payment processing. This SAQ applies to merchants who completely outsource the processing, storage and transmission of credit card data to a payment service provider.

- SAQ A-EP: For merchants with e-commerce payment environments. The SAQ A-EP is used when the merchant has a greater involvement in payment processing, but still outsources some functions to a service provider.

- SAQ B: For merchants with physical payment environments. Although this SAQ does not directly apply to an ecommerce business, it may be relevant if the merchant also has a physical presence and accepts card payments through physical terminals.

2. Minimize the PCI Scope:

The most important aspect of the assessment is to minimize the PCI scope as much as possible. We recommend using a PCI-compliant payment gateway that offers features like redirection or iframe, as this would shift the entire credit card data storage process to the gateway, and you'd only need to complete the SAQ-A. If your gateway doesn't offer these options, you can consider outsourcing the process to specialized companies that provide secure credit card storage services.

3. Implement Security Controls:

Once you've defined the scope, you must implement the necessary security controls to comply with the 12 key requirements of PCI DSS 4.0. This includes establishing firewalls, encrypting data, implementing secure authentication, monitoring system access, keeping software up-to-date, and more. Make sure to clearly document all the implemented processes and procedures.

4. Conduct Testing and Audits:

To verify that the implemented security controls are effective, you must perform periodic testing and audits. This includes vulnerability scans, penetration testing, and process reviews. Identify and address any issues or findings to maintain a high level of PCI DSS 4.0 compliance. Document all the results of the testing and audits.

Note: Automated vulnerability scans must be performed using PCI DSS-approved Approved Scanning Vendors (ASVs).


Implementing PCI DSS 4.0 in your ecommerce store may seem like a challenge, but it is essential to protect your customers and your business. By following these 4 key steps, you can establish a robust data security strategy and comply with the PCI DSS requirements. The benefits include increased customer trust, prevention of fraud and fines, and reduced risk of security breaches. Ready to take your online store's security to the next level? Contact our experts to assess your PCI DSS compliance.

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