Credit Card Brokers Launch Security Effort

A handful of the planet’s largest credit card companies have come together to create a new effort aimed at promoting common data security standards.

Backed by American Express, Discover Financial Services, JCB, MasterCard Worldwide and Visa International, the new group aims to bolster the security of credit card transactions. The effort was created specifically in response to the growing issue of identity fraud related to the use of IT-related schemes by criminals, including online phishing scams and fraud carried out as a result of corporate data breaches.

Researchers at security software maker McAfee said recently that the volume of identity thefts attempted in the United States will soon equal the number of adults living in the country.

Dubbed the PCI Security Standards Council, the industry consortium will oversee the development and evolution of the PCI (Payment Card Industry) Data Security Standard, first proposed in 2005, which is meant to help financial companies better protect their customers’ personally identifiable data used in electronic transactions. The primary benefit of pulling together the industry leaders will be the additional backing given to a common security process for safeguarding credit card information, the group said.

As part of the launch, the PCI Security Standards Council also announced version 1.1 of the PCI Data Security Standard, which includes new recommendations regarding techniques that can be used to boost the security of transactional applications and business networks. The newest iteration of PCI adds new compliance requirements for companies handling credit card data.

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