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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  • P2PE in Higher Education--Reducing Applicable Controls

    June 04, 2015, Tyler Baker, Regional Sales Manager

    Point to Point Encryption (P2PE) is the hottest topic in the PCI world right now and many of our Higher Education clients are anxious to take advantage of the solutions available to them.  However, with 2.0 not yet released, and then the subsequent release of the audit guidelines, there are many questions on how to benefit from a reduction in applicable controls.  This blog post is the result of an interview with Tyler Baker (Regional Sales Manager focused on Higher Education), Mark Lucas (VP over Higher Education Delivery) and Tim Winston (Director over our P2PE practice).

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  • PCI DSS version 3.1 released!

    April 15, 2015, Matt Getzelman, PCI Practice Director

    As expected, a “minor” revision to the PCI DSS 3.0 standard (now version 3.1) was released by the PCI SSC today to address the vulnerabilities exposed by the POODLE and BEAST browser attacks. PCI DSS 3.1 primarily addresses the insecure use of SSL as an encryption protocol within a Cardholder Data Environment (CDE). In response, the SSC has updated PCI DSS requirements 2.2.3, 2.3 and 4.1 to remove any references that cite SSL 3.0 and early versions of TLS 1.0 as examples of strong cryptography.

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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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