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Common PCI questions: Web application firewalls or source code review?

Is it better to use Web application firewalls, automated source code security reviews or vulnerability scans? Michael Cobb reviews your options.

Requirement 6.6 of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, which became mandatory June 30, 2008, gives organizations a choice when it comes to securing Web-based applications. They can comply via manual or automated source code reviews or vulnerability scans, or by installing a WAF between a Web application and the client endpoint -- which leaves most organizations with a common PCI compliance question: How do you decide which option is best?

This series of three tips by Mike Cobb will provide pros and cons of both options, including how each helps deal with emerging threats, cost and staffing considerations, and the difference between being compliant being secure.

Part 1 examines the pros and cons for choosing Web application firewalls for PCI DSS compliance.

Part 2 makes the case for manual or automated source code reviews.

Part 3 reviews the deciding factors in choosing between Web application firewalls and code review for compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard.

This was last published in June 2009

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