Monday, April 27, 2015

New PCI DSS SAQs for version 3.1

As Emma Sutcliffe mentioned to us at the PCI Workshop last week, the PCI Security Standards Council has today released version 3.1 of the Self-Assessment Questionnaires. At this time they are only available in Microsoft Word format. I expect the PDFs will come later.

In addition, there are two new updates to previous documents. First, there is new version of Understanding SAQs for PCI DSS v3. I wish they had called it v3.1 to distinguish it from that confusing InfoSupp released last May. I have not read it in detail yet, but I did take a look at the comparison tables. Hallelujah! They removed that horrible, undefined term “acceptance” from the document. That added so much confusion. They also removed the entire “Control of Cardholder Data” comparison completely.

The other updated document is SAQ Instructions and Guidelines v3.1, finally updated from PCI DSS v2. I haven’t had a chance to dig deeply into this either, but I’m sure it will yield some gems I can use in tomorrow’s PowerPoint!

You can find the new documents on the PCI SSC web site in the document library under the SAQs tab. There is also a SAQs v3.1 link on the home page:

Monday, April 13, 2015

Sunday Evening Reception

Hello all,

There are MANY attendees checking in on Sunday this year, so you may have noticed that the Treasury Institute has added a Welcome Reception on Sunday evening. This informal event will be a great opportunity to meet and greet old friends and new. The reception will be in the Opium Terrace (by the pool) from 6:00 to 7:30 PM, with beer, wine, and cheese served. (Please note, the time was incorrectly listed as 5:00-6:30 in an earlier post.)

Please make sure you hit the Workshop registration table, open from 4:00PM-6:00PM Sunday, so that you can pick up your badge for entry to the reception. As usual, many of us will join up into informal groups for dinner afterwards. Don't be shy.

I’m looking forward to seeing many of you next week in Las Vegas!


Friday, April 3, 2015

2015 PCI Workshop Sponsors

I'm really looking forward to the Treasury Institute's 2015 PCI Workshop in Las Vegas Henderson, NV, coming up in about two weeks. The frigid Michigan winter made a PCI popsicle out of me, and I am ready to thaw out!

But before I head out I want to make a mention of our workshop's Partners and Supporters. Without their generous support we would not be able to have this terrific workshop, especially at the low price for registration. Most of these supporters will be there with informational tables, and it would be great if you could stop by their display and say hello during the workshop this year. They offer solutions to help us get our jobs done, and they are generally very familiar with our sector.

Here is the group we will have with us later this month:

Founding Partner

Alliance Partners
Association for Financial Professionals

Bluefin Payment Systems

See you in Vegas, Baby!

Monday, March 30, 2015

2015 PCI Workshop Program Set

Update, 3/30/2015: I heard from one presenter that his description of his presentation did not match up with what appears on the Treasury Institute web site. If any other have seen this, please let me know and we'll get it worked out. Also, our Sponsors and Supporters page may not be complete yet, I think some paperwork still needs to be processed before all the supporters are listed. --gaw

FRIDAY, MARCH 30, 2015

It's here at last. The program committee for the workshop has wrapped up the schedule for the 2015 Treasury Institute PCI Workshop. You can see the summary on the Treasury Institute's Workshop information page at I will add more details in the days to come.

Something new this year - we will have a (semi-official) pre-workshop reception at the resort late on Sunday afternoon. Many attendees will be checking in on Sunday April 19, so we will have an informal Welcome Reception from 5:00 until 6:30 PM 6:00 until 7:30 PM. Talk about the week ahead or just relax after a day of travel with old friends and new. In years past groups have formed up on Sunday to sample the local restaurants and we will do the same. Dine at one of the Green Valley Ranch Resort, Spa, and Casino's 10 restaurants or head for the Strip! Or you can have a more laid-back night and take in the latest flick at the Regal Cinema, with 10 screens right on the resort property.

Whatever your arrival day plans may be, get ready for a fun and informative week at the 2015 Treasury Institute PCI Workshop.

Note: We may break attendance records for the second year in a row. If you have any problem booking your room (we're nearly sold out), our Meeting Planner Megan at the Professional Development Group will help you out. Information on Workshop rooms and Megan's contact info may be found here:

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

OpenSSL to be patched Thursday 2015-03-19

If you haven't heard the recent security news yet, be forewarned that newly-discovered flaws in the OpenSSL encryption library are due to be patched tomorrow, March 19. Some of the weaknesses have been classified with a "high" severity.

The OpenSSL libraries provide encryption services to protect online communications such as e-mail, file transfers, and most importantly, secure web sites. The libraries implement the (outdated) Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and its replacement the Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocols. If you see a padlock and "https://..." in your web browser's address bar then SSL/TLS is at work. A major segment of the global internet depends on OpenSSL to maintain data privacy and secure confidential information such as banking and credit card data, transactions related to healthcare and government services, and other personally identifiable information that can be used to commit identity theft and other fraud.

Recently, the PCI Security Standards Council announced the upcoming release of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) version 3.1. The main reason for this update to the standards is to remove the older SSL protocol from lists that provide examples of strong cryptography. SSL no longer meets that definition based on recommendations by the U.S. National Institute for Standards and Technology, known as NIST.

For a good discussion of this news, please see Brian Krebs's blog, Krebs on Security. His post today, OpenSSL Patch to Plug Severe Security Holes, provides more background and explains the importance of putting these patches into place as soon as possible.

2015 PCI Workshop Tentative Schedule

2015 Treasury Institute PCI DSS Workshop
Green Valley Ranch Resort (Greater Las Vegas)
2300 Paseo Verde Pkwy
Henderson, NV 89052
April 20-22, 2015

Tentative Workshop Agenda*

Sunday April 19th
4:00 pm-6:00 pm Early Registration
Monday April 20th    
8:00 am -1:00 pm Conference Registration
10:00 am-noon Optional Session: Introduction to PCI
Noon-1:00 pm Lunch on your own
1:00 pm-5:00 pm Workshop Begins: General and Concurrent Sessions 
5:00 pm-6:30 pm The 90 Minute Networking Hour
Tuesday April 21st      
8:00 am-9:00 am Buffet Breakfast
9:00 am-Noon General Sessions
Noon-1:30 pm Lunch
1:30 pm-5:00 pm General and Concurrent Sessions
5:00 pm-6:30 pm The 90 Minute Networking Hour
Wed. April 22nd           
8:00 am- 9:00 am Buffet Breakfast
9:00 am-noon General Sessions
Noon-1:00 pm Lunch
1:00 pm-3:30 pm General Sessions

*Agenda subject to change at any time

Information about sessions and speakers is coming soon!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Program Finalized for 2014 PCI DSS Workshop

NOTE: This is for the 2014 Workshop. The 2015 schedule is coming soon!

The program committee for the Treasury Institute of Higher Education 2014 PCI DSS Workshop has finished its work and it's all ready for you now on the Workshop registration page. Please join us for this annual sharing of information among your colleagues. The theme of the Workshop will be structured to answer your questions regarding the changes to the PCI DSS that are coming as a result of version 3.0 that is effective January 1, 2014. View the agenda by visiting the registration link at the bottom of this post.

And we've moved the venue this year: The Workshop will be held in Chicago at the beautiful Palmer House, right in the heart of the city. The Palmer is truly a gem and you will have all of Chicago right out the front door.

I plan on arriving Sunday to start catching up with old friends and meet some new ones as well. Sunday night is a great time to jump in start connecting with your peers at one of the informal restaurant outings. I can't overstate the importance of the networking that is available at this workshop. This is your chance to not only gather knowledge, but to gain support of your PCI compliance colleagues from all around the US and Canada.

Agenda Items include:
  • Threat Trends, Attack Vectors and What the Verizon Data Breach Investigations Teaches Us
  • Merchant and Service Provider Oversight
  • PCI DSS 3.0: What Higher Education Institutions Need to Know
  • Preparing for and Reacting to a Breach Incident
  • Evolution of Security Culture
Participants will
  • Learn how best to manage PCI compliance at your institution
  • Understand how the PCI Council's Special Interest Groups' recommendations and new QSA Quality Assurance program will affect you
  • Share experiences of other institutions that are working on PCI compliance on their campuses
  • Get your questions answered, including what to expect from the PCI Council in the future
  • Earn up to 18.3 CPE credit

Date and Location:

April 27-30, 2014
Palmer House Hilton | Chicago, IL
Registration Fee is $450.00

Check It Out and Register at