[PCI DSS 3.0] [PCI DSS 3.0] 3.5 Document and implement procedures to protect keys used to secure stored cardholder data against

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3.5 Document and implement procedures to protect keys used to secure stored cardholder data against disclosure and misuse:

Note: This requirement applies to keys used to encrypt stored cardholder data, and also applies to key-encrypting keys used to protect data-encrypting keys— such key-encrypting keys must be at least as strong as the data-encrypting key.

3.5 Examine key-management policies and procedures to verify processes are specified to protect keys used for encryption of cardholder data against disclosure and misuse and include at least the following:
• Access to keys is restricted to the fewest number of custodians necessary.
• Key-encrypting keys are at least as strong as the data- encrypting keys they protect.
• Key-encrypting keys are stored separately from data- encrypting keys.
• Keys are stored securely in the fewest possible locations and forms.

Cryptographic keys must be strongly protected because those who obtain access will be able to decrypt data. Key-encrypting keys, if used, must be at least as strong as the data-encrypting key in order to ensure proper protection of the key that encrypts the data as well as the data encrypted with that key.
The requirement to protect keys from disclosure and misuse applies to both data-encrypting keys and key-encrypting keys. Because one key- encrypting key may grant access to many data- encrypting keys, the key-encrypting keys require strong protection measures.
 
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