Browse Definitions:
Definition

compensating control (alternative control)

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

A compensating control, also called an alternative control, is a mechanism that is put in place to satisfy the requirement for a security measure that is deemed too difficult or impractical to implement at the present time.

In the payment card industry (PCI), compensating controls were introduced in PCI DSS 1.0, to give organizations an alternative to security requirements that could not be met due to legitimate technological or business constraints. According to the PCI Council, compensatory controls must:

1) Meet the intent and rigor of the original stated requirement;

2) Provide a similar level of defense as the original stated requirement;

3) Be "above and beyond" other PCI DSS requirements (not simply in compliance with other PCI DSS requirements); and

4) Be commensurate with the additional risk imposed by not adhering to the original stated requirement.

Examples of compensating controls for information technology security include:

Segregation of Duties (SoD) - an internal control designed to prevent error and fraud by ensuring that at least two individuals are responsible for the separate parts of any task. Fraud and error are risks in payroll management. To mitigate that risk, a company might have one employee responsible for the accounting portion of the job and another responsible for signing the checks. However, segregation of duties can be difficult for businesses with small staffs. Compensating controls, in this case, might include maintaining and reviewing logs and audit trails.

Encryption - converting all electronic data into ciphertext and changing cryptographic keys periodically can be difficult and expensive to implement. As is frequently the case, multiple compensating controls may be required to provide security that is equivalent to the control being replaced. Compensating controls in lieu of comprehensive data encryption might include the use of database security applications and services, network access control (NAC), data leak prevention strategies and e-mail encryption.

 

This was last updated in November 2016

Continue Reading About compensating control (alternative control)

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

SearchCompliance

SearchSecurity

  • black hat

    Black hat refers to a hacker who breaks into a computer system or network with malicious intent.

  • copyright

    Copyright is a legal term describing ownership of control of the rights to the use and distribution of certain works of creative ...

  • keylogger (keystroke logger or system monitor)

    A keylogger, sometimes called a keystroke logger or system monitor, is a type of surveillance technology used to monitor and ...

SearchHealthIT

  • population health management (PHM)

    Population health management (PHM) is a discipline within the healthcare industry that studies and facilitates care delivery ...

  • ICD-10-PCS

    The International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision, Procedure Coding System (ICD-10-PCS) is a U.S. cataloging system for...

  • U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM)

    The U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM) is the largest biomedical library in the world.

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...

  • mass notification system (MNS)

    A mass notification system is a platform that sends one-way messages to inform employees and the public of an emergency.

SearchStorage

  • open source storage

    Open source storage is data storage software developed in a public, collaborative manner that permits the free use, distribution ...

  • CompactFlash card (CF card)

    A CompactFlash card (CF card) is a memory card format developed by SanDisk in 1994 that uses flash memory technology to store ...

  • email archiving

    Email archiving (also spelled e-mail archiving) is a systematic approach to saving and protecting the data contained in email ...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • RRAM or ReRAM (resistive RAM)

    RRAM or ReRAM (resistive random access memory) is a form of nonvolatile storage that operates by changing the resistance of a ...

  • JEDEC

    JEDEC is a global industry group that develops open standards for microelectronics.

  • M.2 SSD

    An M.2 SSD is a solid-state drive (SSD) that conforms to a computer industry specification written for internally mounted storage...

SearchCloudStorage

  • RESTful API

    A RESTful application program interface breaks down a transaction to create a series of small modules, each of which addresses an...

  • cloud storage infrastructure

    Cloud storage infrastructure is the hardware and software framework that supports the computing requirements of a private or ...

  • Zadara VPSA and ZIOS

    Zadara Storage provides block, file or object storage with varying levels of compute and capacity through its ZIOS and VPSA ...

Close