PCI, Payment Card Industry, PCI Gap Assessment

PCI Gap Assessment is an analysis of an organization’s existing security infrastructure and also includes laying out the additional security measures that should be fulfilled.

Compliance with the PCI (Payment Card Industry) security standards is not easy and in fact, only 18% of businesses conduct PCI DSS analysis over and above the required frequency.

Now, let’s take a closer look at what a PCI Gap Assessment is and whether it is worth it for your organization.

What does PCI Gap Analysis mean?

PCI Gap assessment is the process of analyzing, spotting, and recording the non-compliant aspects of an organization with the security standards laid out by the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard.

Once the gap analysis is completed, then the organization must undergo the compliance process.

This analysis offers businesses a holistic view of their security infrastructure while giving actionable advice for future compliance.

Who conducts PCI Gap Analysis?

PCI gap analysis is usually conducted by companies offering security services, whose employees go to the site to prepare and analyze the businesses for the actual assessment by the officials from PCI DSS.

Why conduct a Gap Analysis?

PCI gap analysis trains your cybersecurity architecture for a PCI DSS assessment. It also serves these purposes: PCI gap analysis helps apply PCI security policies efficiently. It helps organizations prepare for PCI audits. A gap analysis may help you uncover susceptible PCI audit security mechanisms. Expert assistance during a PCI audit helps avert organization failure repercussions.

Gap analysis benefits

The benefits of PCI Gap analysis include;

  • It determines the PCI DSS Compliance scope.
  • Assesses PCI security and identifies flaws.
  • Identifies priority areas. Guides your company through PCI DSS compliance.
  • Improves your organization’s capacity to meet security requirements.

After completing the evaluation, the specialists deliver a full report that details the state of the security measures and the remedial actions required in your organization.

PCI-DSS Guidelines

PCI DSS includes 12 requirements that businesses must meet for compliance. Your company’s gap analysis must meet the following 12 standards:

  • Preserve cardholder data by installing and maintaining a firewall.
  • Avoid vendor-supplied security settings and passwords.
  • Apply cardholder data security safeguards.
  • Encrypt cardholder data sent through public networks.
  • Regularly update the anti-virus software and safeguard computers from malware
  • Protect the organization’s software and hardware.
  • Only required parties must access cardholder data.
  • Authenticate the components of your system.
  • Secure cardholder data.
  • Monitor all networks and cardholder data access.
  • Assess security systems and procedures regularly using techniques like penetration testing.
  • Adopt a security framework that takes all business stakeholders’ concerns about data security into consideration.

Engagement Process for PCI Assessment

1. Scoping

Experts carefully evaluate the network security and other components of the system during the scoping exercise to determine the scope needed to meet the appropriate PCI DSS criteria.

2. Collecting Information

To confirm the scope determined for PCI compliance, experts collect all the additional data about the related processes, individuals, and other components of the system in this stage.

3. Analysis and assessment

The next stage involves a thorough evaluation of the whole process, including interviews with key involved parties, a study of the policy manual, and a close examination of the related security measures.

4. Monitoring and Correction

This stage is when experts provide you with a thorough report on the whole assessment, emphasizing your compliance situation and outlining how you may strengthen your overall security by adopting the appropriate remedial measures.

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