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Significance of PCI DSS in the Payment Industry

While we talk about digital payment service providers, the most crucial compliance standard is the Payment Card Data Security Standard or simply PCI DSS. What the standards intend is to bring absolute security to cardholder data.

Compliance involves an ongoing process of continually assessing the entity’s digital payment environment. It helps identify underlying threats or vulnerabilities and mitigate them to preserve a secure card payment environment.

And what more is the outcome of non-compliance to the standard requirements? It can drive your business to big reputational and financial falls. The repercussion of non-compliance will also involve hefty fines, increased costs, and the termination of the license to handle credit cards.

Here is where partnering with a Qualified Payment Card Industry Security Assessor Company can benefit your way to PCI DSS Compliance. Let us quick-unfold our latest case study on PCI DSS Compliance Project for a Payment Solution Company in Egypt.

About the Client

The client is a well-known E-Commerce and Electronic Payment Solution Company in Egypt. It offers customized payment solutions that fit any business nature for sending and receiving payments to individuals, e-retailers, software platforms, marketplaces, businesses & everything in between. The client understands the necessity to comply with the PCI DSS requirements applicable to its environment.

Project Requirements

– Conduct an Initial Assessment to determine the scope of PCI compliance

– Deliver a roadmap to achieve PCI DSS Compliance

– Perform technical assessments

  • ASV scans
  • External PT
  • Internal VAPT

– Assist in remediation with advisory services

– Determine the applicable SAQ and help in preparing the PCI SAQ

– Attest the SAQ & validate the AOC

– Issue a certificate based on the AOC

– Provide Managed compliance for the coming years

Challenges Entangled

  • One major challenge on the compliance path was to align multiple views within various tiers of management. Here, our team preferred an initial consultation with the top-tier management aligned to business objectives.
  • Another challenge was to perform a tailored compliance strategy within a confined timeline. Our team was always ready for the plan, converting the standard deliverables into customized ones within the timelines.

Process Involved

  • Defined the complete PCI environment scope.
  • Provided segmentation guidance.
  • Evaluated the current state of cardholder data flow through the network, applications, databases, devices and other storage media.
  • Identified gaps and prepared an action plan for compliance.
  • Created/updated policies, procedures & standards.
  •  Delivered advisory support for the closure of gaps identified.
  • Delivered security awareness training for in scope personnel.
  • Provided advisory for remediation activities.
  • Completed first-quarter assessments as a part of PCI technical assessments.
  • Drafted SAQ document for attestation by customer.
  • QSA revalidated the scope after successful remediation from client side.
  • Prepared Report on Compliance.
  • Issued certificate based on the Attestation of Compliance.

Final Deliverables

Following are the deliverables while traversing different phases of the engagement, like Project Initiation, Gap Assessment, Action Plan & Support and Final Audit & Certification.

  • Project Plan & signed NDA.
  • Final Scope Document.
  • PCI DSS Initial Gap Assessment Report.
  • ASV Scan Report.
  • External Network VAPT Report.
  • Web application VAPT Report.
  •  Policies Template.
  • PCI Risk Assessment Report.
  • Gap Closure Evidence Validation.
  •  SAQ document.
  •  Report on Compliance (ROC).
  • Attestation of Compliance (AOC)
  • Certificate of Compliance (COC).

Result

Our team successfully completed the compliance project and fulfilled all client requirements, as expected. The client was endowed with an Attestation of Compliance & Certificate of Compliance on fulfilling the PCI DSS requirements. Ongoing support and annual assessments will heed the 3-year project commitment.

Final Thoughts

Although the PCI Standard may appear challenging for most Payment Schemes & Fintech companies, actions taken in this direction will be worth their time and investment. Again for start-ups looking to enter the larger market in connection with larger financial service providers, PCI DSS will not just be an option but a mandate to commence with.

Further, fulfilling PCI Compliance enhances business processes and boosts credibility in the eyes of clients, partners, and stakeholders. Compliance with PCI Standards will surely help the Payment and Fintech companies demonstrate that they are steadfast and safe to engage with for business.

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