The Coalfire Blog

Welcome to the Coalfire Blog, a resource covering the most important issues in IT security and compliance. You'll also find information on Coalfire's insights into the unique cybersecurity issues that impact the industries we serve, including Cloud Service Providers, RetailFinancial Services, Healthcare, Higher Education, Payments, Government, Restaurants, and Utilities.

The Coalfire blog is written by the company's leadership team and our highly-credentialed security assessment experts. We look forward to your comments, so please join the conversation.


  • PCI Scope Assessments for Higher Education Institutions

    July 13, 2015, Tyler Baker, Regional Sales Manager

    With the release of PCI DSS version 3.0 and more recently 3.1, many Higher Education Institutions have found it hard to know which SAQ’s they should be filling out since there are now nine options. Higher Education Institutions have very complex merchant card environments and with the new requirements it is even harder to recognize what’s in scope.  Tyler Baker interviews Dirk Anderson, the Vice President of Enterprise Risk & Compliance Platform at Coalfire, to get a deeper understanding of PCI Scope Assessment.

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  • What does PCI DSS 3.1 and PA-DSS 3.1 mean for you and your organization

    February 19, 2015, Matt Getzelman, PCI Practice Director

    In the wake of the POODLE vulnerability identified by NIST and subsequent attacks, the PCI SSC has announced its intent to release the first revision of the PCI DSS 3.0 and PA-DSS 3.0 standards. The PCI DSS 3.1 and PA-DSS 3.1 standards will indicate that the SSL v3.0 protocol no longer meets the PCI SSC’s definition of “Strong Encryption” and this will have immediate impact to several existing requirements.  However, one key point from the announcement should be highlighted:

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  • Emerging Payment Technologies and Due Diligence: A Warning about “Silver Bullets”

    February 09, 2015, Matt Getzelman, PCI Practice Director

    2015 will be an exciting year for the payments industry, especially for merchants that now have a number of new payment technologies at their disposal.  Emerging payment technologies such as Point-to-Point-Encryption (P2PE), Tokenization, EMV/Chip and Signature and Mobile Payment Acceptance are hitting the market globally and all of them can help reduce the risk of cardholder data compromise as well as potentially impact the compliance posture of merchants that choose to adopt them.

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  • The PCI Enforcement Hammer is Ready to Drop

    October 31, 2014, Rick Dakin, CEO, Co-founder and Chief Security Strategist

    The time for nervous anticipation for PCI breach response is over …. VISA has issued dramatic PCI Data Security Standard Compliance enforcement guidance for Level 1 and 2 merchants and all Service Providers.  Effective January 1st, 2015, noncompliance costs will be applied sooner and will escalate quicker.  For many merchants and service providers looking for a reason to improve compliance just got one.  The cost for noncompliance will easily hit $250,000 for many small and mid-sized merchants and service providers.

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  • Apple Pay: A New Way to Pay

    September 09, 2014, Matt Getzelman, PCI Practice Director

    Every September, Apple announces exciting new products that promise to change how we interact with not only our devices, but with the world around us. 2014 has been no exception; in San Francisco this morning, Apple announced the iPhone 6, Apple Watch and Apple Pay. Even though I’m excited about the capabilities and features of the iPhone 6 and Apple Watch, I’ll leave those blog posts to the consumer phone experts.

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