Requirement 6: Develop and maintain secure systems and applications

Unscrupulous individuals use security vulnerabilities to gain privileged access to systems. Many of these vulnerabilities are fixed by vendor- provided security patches, which must be installed by the entities that manage the systems. All systems must have all appropriate software patches to protect against the exploitation and compromise of cardholder data by malicious individuals and malicious software.

Note: Appropriate software patches are those patches that have been evaluated and tested sufficiently to determine that the patches do not conflict with existing security configurations. For in-house developed applications, numerous vulnerabilities can be avoided by using standard system development processes and secure coding techniques.