PCI Compliance Checklist for Merchants and Service Providers

Materdei Consulting, LLC, offers the following PCI compliance checklist for helping both merchants and service providers throughout North America in becoming PCI DSS compliant. As the global authority when it comes to PCI policies and procedures and PCI Compliance Toolkits, we’ve been helping merchants and service providers all throughout North America – and the world – in becoming compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) since 2009. The world has changed with growing cybersecurity threats, and credit card data is often being stolen and put up for sale in the dark web, so now’s the time to get serious about protecting your network – and cardholder data.

Our PCI Compliance Toolkits save Businesses Thousands of Dollars

From PCI DSS readiness assessments to assistance with the various Self-Assessment Questionnaires (SAQ), and more, you can count on us for high-quality services and solutions for PCI compliance. PCI compliance doesn’t have to be an incredibly daunting and challenging task – not when you truly understand what’s needed in terms of compliance, and not when you have our award-winning PCI Compliance Toolkits at your disposal. Available for instant download, our toolkits come complete with hundreds of pages of industry leading PCI policies and procedures, templates, forms, checklists, risk assessment documentation, security awareness training materials, and more. When it comes to saving hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars on PCI DSS compliance, turn to the experts at Materdei Consulting, LLC. Visit pcipolicyportal.com to learn more about our services.

12 Critical Points about PCI DSS Compliance You Need to Know

1. Understand the PCI DSS framework. The PCI DSS mandates can be a challenging and time-consuming endeavor for merchants and services providers throughout North America, and it’s why you need to truly understand the various working components of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) mandates. From the 12 PCI DSS “Requirements” that must be adhered to, along with a never-ending list of certification options – such as the Self-Assessment Questionnaires to Level 1 onsite audits from a PCI-QSA – there’s much to learn about PCI compliance. With that said, take note of the following essential PCI subject matter, courtesy of Materdei Consulting, LLC:

2. Documentation is Critical for Compliance. In today’s world of regulatory compliance, documentation is incredibly important – but also a time-consuming task – and it’s why merchants and service providers need to obtain high-quality policy templates for PCI DSS compliance. Whatever your specific mandate is for PCI DSS compliance – from a relatively straightforward Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ) to a Level 1 onsite audit by a Qualified Security Assessor (QSA), policies and procedures are a must. Because of this, pcipolicyportal.com offers high-quality, easy-to-use PCI DSS policy templates available for instant download today, saving businesses thousands of dollars on costly policy creation work.

3. Implementing Key Initiatives is a Must. Two (2) big mandates that most – if not all – merchants and service providers need to perform are (1) security awareness training and (2) risk assessments. Both of these initiatives require much more than just a policy document to be in place, they require that you actually perform a risk assessment and also implement security awareness training. Performing a risk assessment can be an exhausting process, but with our PCI DSS materials, you can complete your risk assessment in literally no time at all. As for security awareness, we offer both a customizable manual and PowerPoint Presentation, both available for instant download from pcipolicyportal.com.

4. Learn about the reporting requirements for merchants vs. service providers. You’ll need to gain a stronger understanding of the actual Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) reporting mandates for merchants and service providers. Specifically, what are the various levels of compliance (i.e., Level’s 1 to 4), and what are the corresponding reporting requirements for each of these levels (i.e., completion of a Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ) or an actual Level 1 onsite assessment by a Payment Card Industry Qualified Security Assessor, known as a PCI-QSA). While a fair number of the SAQ documents are relatively straightforward and easy to comply with, others are much more challenging, particularly SAQ D.

5. Are you a merchant or a service provider? It’s important to clearly understand the difference between a merchant and a service provider. Per the PCI DSS standards, a merchant is defined as the following: A merchant is defined as any entity that accepts payment cards bearing the logos of any of the five members of PCI SSC (American Express, Discover, JCB, MasterCard or Visa) as payment for goods and/or services. Sounds rather vague – and it is – and to further confuse you a merchant can also be a service provider. Thus, for clarity, if you directly take payments via card present or card-not-present, then you can generally be defined as a merchants. Businesses with e-commerce platforms, Point-of-Sale (POS) terminals are considered merchants.

6. Begin with a PCI DSS scoping & readiness assessment. Because of the complexities involved with becoming PCI DSS compliant – particularly for merchants and service providers new to this mandate – it’s extremely important to gain a thorough and comprehensive understanding of the “who, what, when, where, and why” of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards, which means performing a PCI DSS Scoping & Readiness Assessment. We offer a very thorough, yet brief, and cost-effective pre-certification assessment that’ll help you identify critical scoping considerations, along with needed areas of remediation, and more. Trust on this one, spending a few dollars up front will literally save you thousands more in the long-run.

7. Remediate all gaps and issues, both operationally and technically. You more than likely will have gaps and other operational/technical constraints that will require correction – you’re no different than the untold number of businesses who are in the same scenario, so relax – just take it step-by-step and you’ll get there. The key is understanding what needs to be corrected, why, what tools to use, and who will be doing the implementation of such measures. This is why a PCI DSS scoping & readiness assessment is so critical. As to how much remediation has to be done for businesses – that all depends on the maturity of one’s control environment – but again, you won’t know fully have the answer until you dig in. We provide comprehensive readiness services, so contact us today.

8. Obtain critical PCI DSS policy templates. One of the most demanding and time-consuming mandates for PCI DSS compliance is developing all the necessary information security policies and procedures for requirements 1 through 12. PCI compliance can be incredibly challenging, with a large part of the mandates predicated on having in-depth and relevant policies and procedures in place. pcipolicyportal.com has been offering the very best documents for compliance for merchants and service providers located in North America, so contact us today to learn more about your PCI DSS compliance needs. Regulatory compliance for the payments industry is here to stay, so get compliant with the PCI standards; we can help.

9. Implement essential security awareness training. Businesses being required to become PCI DSS compliant also need to implement comprehensive security awareness training mandates for their employees. Remember something very important, the “human element” is often the most important – yet overlooked – aspect in today’s world of cybersecurity defense mechanisms. While businesses spend a fortune on industry leading security tools and appliances, they often fail to properly train their employees on security best practices, and this has to change. We offer a comprehensive security awareness training packet that’s available for instant download as part of our comprehensive PCI Policy Packets for sale at pcipolicyportal.com.

10. Perform an annual risk assessment process. This is much more than a policy document, rather, it requires a true commitment by your business in actually performing a risk assessment, one complete with formal findings and documentation. Sure, you can spend thousands of dollars on high-priced risk management and risk assessment tools, but why, often an internally developed spreadsheet, or even an easy-to-use risk management packet from pcipolicyportal.com is all you need. Remember something important, as long as the risk assessment process is done with a true intent to identify, assess, and mitigate risks, then the process can be whatever you deem it to be, so long as you document the findings. As part of our award-winning PCI Compliance Toolkits, businesses will receive an in-depth, easy-to-use, and high-quality PCI DSS risk assessment tool containing all the essential materials for performing your risk exercises.

Even without the PCI DSS mandates, performing a risk assessment is an incredibly valuable process, one that often yields measurable results for helping ensure the safety of organizational assets, and especially those systems responsible for storing, processing, and/or transmitting cardholder data and other sensitive consumer data and information. In the world we live in, there are risks every day, everywhere, on every corner, so do yourself and your organization a favor by performing a much-needed risk assessment each year. You’ll actually be surprised at the invaluable information that comes out the process – no question about it.

11. Determine any third-party relevancy for PCI DSS compliance. Outsourcing is a common practice for businesses, so you’ll have to ensure that any third-party entities accessing YOUR customer’s credit card data are also PCI DSS compliant. Our industry leading PCI Compliance Toolkits provide a third-party monitoring packet that’s a must-have if you’re involved in outsourcing any significant element of your business.

12. Hire an Expert. Are you a merchant or service provider located in North America – from California to New York – and need assistance in complying with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS)? Then contact North America’s leading provider of PCI compliance services, toolkits, and solutions, and that’s Materdei Consulting, LLC. Visit pcipolicyportal.com today to learn more about our award-winning PCI Compliance Toolkits, which are available for instant download today. Becoming compliant doesn’t have to cost and arm and leg – as the old saying goes – but it does require a true commitment by your organization for putting in place all necessary policies, procedures, and processes.

North America’s Proven and Trusted PCI DSS Experts

Materdei Consulting, LLC is North America’s leading provider of PCI DSS compliance and consulting services, while also offering the very best PCI policies and procedures found anywhere today. From small merchant websites to large-multination organizations, our PCI expertise – and industry leading documentation – are known all throughout the world. Please visit pcipolicyportal.com today to learn more about our services for North American merchants and service providers, along with our award-winning PCI policies and procedures & PCI compliance toolkits.