/may 28, 2024

Understanding PCI DSS 4.0: What You Need to Know

By Jenny Buckingham

If you're in a business that handles credit cards, you already know how crucial it is to keep that data secure. PCI DSS is a set of compliance requirements that ensure all companies handling cardholder data keep it secure. And that it's not just a good idea—it's a must.

As cyber threats become more sophisticated, it's challenging to keep pace with complex security and compliance landscapes. That's why we're committed to helping you manage the complexity, speed, and scale of modern development with expert services, industry-leading security solutions, and trusted throught leadership.

Recent Updates to PCI DSS

The latest update, PCI DSS 4.0, addresses the cybersecurity challenges that have emerged from the increased use of cloud services and global events like the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s an overview of what’s new:

Keeping What Works

The update keeps approaches from the previous version, PCI DSS 3.2.1. This means you can continue using the compliance methods you're familiar with. However, it also introduces enhanced security measures such as stronger multi-factor authentication and password requirements to align with evolving security needs. 

Emphasizing Continuous Security

Recognizing that threats are ever-present, PCI DSS 4.0 emphasizes the need for continuous security. It assigns specific roles and responsibilities for each security requirement and offers detailed guidance to help stakeholders implement and maintain these measures, effectively, ensuring that security is an integral part of daily operations.

Increasing Flexibility

The "Customized Approach" introduced in PCI DSS 4.0 allows you to tailor security measures to best fit your operations, provided you can effectively manage and mitigate risks. This flexibility is particularly beneficial for organizations with advanced risk management processes.

Here's an overview of the PCI DSS timeline:

PCI DSS Timeline


Achieving PCI DSS 4.0 Compliance

Adopting a layered application security approach is an effective way to work towards PCI DSS 4.0 compliance. This might include static code analysis, secure coding training, dynamic application security testing (DAST), penetration testing, and regular security reviews. Combining these practices can help provide a well-rounded, multi-faceted understanding of security risks, contributing to more secure applications.

Veracode offers tools and services that can help you meet the requirements of PCI DSS 4.0. With Veracode on your side, we can assist you with:

•  Vulnerability Identification: Implement a systematic process to identify security vulnerabilities throughout the software development lifecycle (SDLC) and assess the risk level of each identified issue.

•  Developer Training: Equip developers with secure coding techniques and provide training to help them effectively identify and fix security issues within code.

•  Integration of Security into DevOps: Incorporate continuous security testing into your CI/CD pipeline to ensure that changes in code or third-party components do not introduce new vulnerabilities.

•  Support Across the Software Supply Chain: Extend security testing to third-party components and vendor-supplied software to ensure comprehensive compliance throughout the entire software supply chain.

•  Protection for Public-Facing Applications: Regularly test web applications and services to address new and emerging threats, as well as exploitable vulnerabilities.

Veracode simplifies PCI security compliance by providing predefined policies for security testing. Our platform helps you conduct testing throughout the software lifecycle, from development to production, prioritizes issues by severity, and provides detailed remediation context and information. This helps your team quickly fix security issues and allows for retesting to confirm successful remediation and track progress.


Navigating the complexities of PCI DSS 4.0 compliance is crucial for any business handling credit card data. The recent updates emphasize maintaining familiar approaches, continuous security, and adopting a flexible, customized approach to address evolving security challenges. Veracode offers a comprehensive suite of tools and expert services to streamline your compliance efforts and enable the delivery of more secure, compliant applications with ease.

Interested in enhancing your security while achieving compliance more efficiently? Chat with us today or start a free trial of Veracode Dynamic Analysis to see firsthand how our solutions can assist you.

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By Jenny Buckingham

Jenny Buckingham is a Product Marketing Manager helping developers and security professionals secure their cloud-native application development. With a focus on understanding her customer’s needs, she helps companies leverage powerful solutions to overcome security challenges.