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PCI Compliance Consultant 2012

Updated on January 18, 2012

A PCI Compliance Consultant Will Keep Your Cardholder Data Safe

photo by lepetitblonde on Flickr
photo by lepetitblonde on Flickr

A PCI Compliance Consultant Can Help With the Scan And SAQ Process

PCI DSS is the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard that was set forth for organizations which handle credit, debit, e-purse, prepaid, ATM or POS cardholder information. The PCI DSS is a standard that companies and small businesses like e-commerce sites must conform to and verify through an annual inspection process that is usually best handled by a PCI compliance consultant who is knowledgeable of the standards and PCI best practices, and can not only help your organization to pass the rigorous PCI DSS checklist, but also protect your systems from hacking, malware and other security threats and future-proof your PCI compliance initiative. The goal of all of these PCI standards are to allow customers to be confident that they are dealing with a company which values their personal information and will safeguard it from cyber security threats and unnecessary exposure. If you are ready to discuss your PCI compliance needs then it is time to arrange a personal PCI needs evaluation. 2012 looks to be another great year for e-commerce stores, vendors, and internet companies in general. There is no better time to get your company's assets up to par with the current standards and ready to do business on into this decade.

One of the primary tools in PCI Compliance testing is the PCI Audit scan and companion self-assessment questionairre (SAQ) which is run against each computer system that handles cardholder data and returns a list of found vulnerabilities, weaknesses, and other items that may result in a fail status according to the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council. This is one of the best times to have a PCI compliance consultant look at the results and begin to work with the scan checklist in order to correct any severe issues that are causing the domain or site to fail inspection. Most of the time the audit results will categorize the various problems into levels from information to minor to severe or high. While it can be possible to get a PCI Pass status by just correcting the highest level issues, it is best practice to have the PCI compliance consultant go ahead and perform a comprehensive compliance evaluation in order to bring the website and underlying operating system to the appropriate trust level. A knowledgeable PCI compliance consultant can take care of all of the issues revealed in the PCI audit scan as well as provide other services such as code evaluation, penetration testing, and a policy or procedure review as part of the PCI compliance consulting services. It is best to get things corrected properly and thoroughly to avoid future problems. Even one incidence of customer data exposure could prove very harmful to a company's reputation and should be avoided through the proper safeguards and measures as outlined by your PCI compliance consultant.

There are six main requirements (or control objectives) as outlined by the Council in the latest PCI DSS version 2.0.

1. Build and Maintain A Secure Computer Network

2. Protect Cardholder Data

3. Maintain A Comprehensive Program to Manage Vulnerabilities

4. Implement Strong Measures Of Access Control

5. Monitor and Test Networks Regularly

6. Maintain a Comprehensive Information Security Policy

A PCI compliance consultant will address each of the above objectives as they relate to your specific layout and determine what actions need to be taken to best conform to industry standards. A deep evaluation through each of these agenda items will not only protect customer cardholder data from identity theft and other modern threats, but will also go a good ways towards protecting other valuable data like a company's developer's source code, email systems, website presence and other important areas of business continuity. By taking the PCI audit test results and incorporating them into an overall plan of action personalized to your web hosting plan or network configuration your PCI compliance consultant will insure secure systems and reliable performance into the 2012 fiscal year and beyond. It is best to take action now to make sure your organization meets the appropriate PCI compliance deadlines for 2012. Whether you just need pci audit scan issues corrected or would like a more comprehensive evaluation, there is no job to small or too large and I would be happy to assist your company or organization in your efforts to meet the appropriate requirements.


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