The PCI DSS is a set of comprehensive requirements for enhancing payment account data security. It was developed by the founding payment brands of the PCI Security Standards Council (American Express, Discover Financial Services, JCB, MasterCard Worldwide and Visa International) to help facilitate the adoption of consistent data security measures globally. The PCI DSS includes requirements for security management, policies, procedures, network architecture, software design and other critical protective measures intended to proactively protect customer account data.
The card brands each have their own programs that help merchants enforce compliance with the PCI DSS. The PCI Security Standards Council was founded in 2006 to oversee the standard itself, but each of the card brands issues fines and fees and schedules deadlines through their own enforcement programs.