Security compliance and PCI-DSS

Security compliance and PCI-DSS

As of the Newton release, the Identity service contains additional security compliance features, specifically to satisfy Payment Card Industry - Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) v3.1 requirements. See Security Hardening PCI-DSS for more information on PCI-DSS.

Security compliance features are disabled by default and most of the features only apply to the SQL backend for the identity driver. Other identity backends, such as LDAP, should implement their own security controls.

Enable these features by changing the configuration settings under the [security_compliance] section in keystone.conf.

Setting the account lockout threshold

The account lockout feature limits the number of incorrect password attempts. If a user fails to authenticate after the maximum number of attempts, the service disables the user. Re-enable the user by explicitly setting the enable user attribute with the update user API call, either v2.0 or v3.

You set the maximum number of failed authentication attempts by setting the lockout_failure_attempts:

lockout_failure_attempts = 6

You set the number of minutes a user would be locked out by setting the lockout_duration in seconds:

lockout_duration = 1800

If you do not set the lockout_duration, users may be locked out indefinitely until the user is explicitly enabled via the API.

Disabling inactive users

PCI-DSS 8.1.4 requires that inactive user accounts be removed or disabled within 90 days. You can achieve this by setting the disable_user_account_days_inactive:

disable_user_account_days_inactive = 90

This above example means that users that have not authenticated (inactive) for the past 90 days are automatically disabled. Users can be re-enabled by explicitly setting the enable user attribute via the API.

Configuring password expiration

Passwords can be configured to expire within a certain number of days by setting the password_expires_days:

password_expires_days = 90

Once set, any new password changes have an expiration date based on the date/time of the password change plus the number of days defined here. Existing passwords will not be impacted. If you want existing passwords to have an expiration date, you would need to run a SQL script against the password table in the database to update the expires_at column.

In addition, you can set it so that passwords never expire for some users by adding their user ID to password_expires_ignore_user_ids list:

password_expires_ignore_user_ids = [3a54353c9dcc44f690975ea768512f6a]

In this example, the password for user ID 3a54353c9dcc44f690975ea768512f6a would never expire.

Indicating password strength requirements

You set password strength requirements, such as requiring numbers in passwords or setting a minimum password length, by adding a regular expression to the password_regex:

password_regex = ^(?=.*\d)(?=.*[a-zA-Z]).{7,}$

The above example is a regular expression that requires a password to have one letter, one digit, and a minimum length of seven characters.

If you do set the password_regex, you should provide text that describes your password strength requirements. You can do this by setting the password_regex_description:

password_regex_description = Passwords must contain at least 1 letter, 1
                             digit, and be a minimum length of 7

The service returns that description to users to explain why their requested password did not meet requirements.


You must ensure the password_regex_description accurately and completely describes the password_regex. If the two options are out of sync, the help text could inaccurately describe the password requirements being applied to the password. This would lead to poor user experience.

Requiring a unique password history

The password history requirements controls the number of passwords for a user that must be unique before an old password can be reused. You can enforce this by setting the unique_last_password_count:

unique_last_password_count= 5

The above example does not allow a user to create a new password that is the same as any of their last four previous passwords.

Similarly, you can set the number of days that a password must be used before the user can change it by setting the minimum_password_age:

minimum_password_age = 1

In the above example, once a user changes their password, they would not be able to change it again for one day. This prevents users from changing their passwords immediately in order to wipe out their password history and reuse an old password.


When you set password_expires_days, the value for the minimum_password_age should be less than the password_expires_days. Otherwise, users would not be able to change their passwords before they expire.

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