Over the years, payment security standards have evolved significantly. Today, any organization storing, processing, or transmitting cardholder data must comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) 4.0 privacy framework to protect the payment card value chain.
PCI segmentation testing helps to uphold these standards by improving network security and performance and by helping to prevent congestion and bottlenecks in the network. Segmentation tests should be performed every six months at least or after a significant change in segmentation.

Understanding Network Segmentation in Payment Security

Network segmentation is the process of dividing a single large network into multiple smaller, isolated subnetworks. The purpose of this is to isolate the components that store, process, or transmit sensitive payment data.

This segmentation helps improve security by minimizing the risks of data breaches and unauthorized access to prevent potential attackers from gaining access to the entire database of payment card information if one part of the network is compromised.

PCI 4.0 and Segmentation Testing: What’s New?

PCI 4.0 was released in March 2022, and organizations need to be compliant by no later than March 31, 2025. To maintain PCI 4.0 compliance, organizations are now required to define, document, and implement a penetration testing methodology that includes testing the inside and the outside of the network. It is also a requirement that the controls that create the segments in segmented networks are tested annually and after any changes.

The Importance of Thorough Segmentation Testing

If networks are improperly segmented, and there is no layer of separation between servers containing generic information and servers containing sensitive data, an attacker can quickly make their way through the entire network if they manage to gain access to an organization’s system. This allows them to gain access to this data and wreak havoc.

It’s impossible to prevent a breach completely. However, it takes considerably more time, money, and resources to recover from a breach in which an attacker has gained access to an organization’s entire network, as opposed to a breach in which an attacker has only managed to gain access to a part of the network.

In one data breach, an application vulnerability in an organization’s website led to a data breach, which went undiscovered for months. Inadequate system segmentation meant attackers could easily move laterally through the system and compromise 147 million records. Compromised records included social security numbers, birth dates, driver’s license information, and credit card details.

The breach caused immense damage to the organization’s reputation and led to several congressional inquiries. The settlement included up to $425 million paid to those affected by the breach.

CyberMaxx’s Approach to Segmentation Testing

CyberMaxx carries out internal and external network segmentation tests. External penetration tests are designed to find vulnerabilities in the organization’s internet-facing assets. In contrast, internal penetration tests are designed to find vulnerabilities inside employees or outside attackers who have managed to gain unauthorized access to restricted networks.

CyberMaxx employs experienced engineers equipped with the most up-to-date tools and resources to ensure that tests are comprehensive and compliant with PCI 4.0 standards. Each project is assigned a senior engineer lead, a project manager, and a dedicated reporting resource.

Throughout the process, engineers focus on manual testing to fill in the gaps often overlooked by automated testing. Continuous support is also offered during and after testing and offers a retest up to six months after the initial report is delivered.

After each assessment, organizations are provided with thoughtful, context-specific reports containing essential information designed to help identify the true risks to the organization so they can be addressed.

Benefits of CyberMaxx’s Segmentation Testing Services

Some key ways that organizations can benefit from CyberMaxx’s segmentation testing services include:

  • Assurance of compliance: Feel assured that your organization’s network meets the updated PCI 4.0 requirements for segmentation testing.
  • Proactive vulnerability detection: Identify and address potential risks before they become threats by leveraging the four types of cybersecurity scans: renaissance scans, vulnerability scans, wireless scans, and application scans.
  • Continuous monitoring: CyberMaxx is committed to conducting ongoing checks and adjustments to ensure your organization remains secure as threats evolve and attackers become more sophisticated.

Strengthen Your Organization’s Segmentation Testing Strategy

Segmentation testing should be prioritized as part of a robust security strategy to ensure PCI 4.0 compliance. Learn more about how CyberMaxx can help strengthen your organization’s segmentation testing, and contact one of our experts.