pci compliance test

Why Do I Need a PCI Compliance Test?

By ERMProtect Staff

Organizations that handle cardholder data must adhere to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) to safely handle sensitive consumer information. Following PCI compliance standards requires solutions to protect your business against malicious third parties seeking to exploit sensitive data.

Organizations must complete a PCI compliance test to remain compliant with PCI standards. While it might sound simple, many steps go into a practical and accurate test, causing some company leaders to avoid testing their network. However, there are many reasons why your business needs a PCI compliance test, and if you haven’t invested in this solution, now is the time to get started.

To inform you about everything there is to know about PCI testing, we’ve compiled a guide to compliance tests and PCI compliance solutions to ensure that your business is protected against data breaches. Let’s explore the importance of PCI tests for your company.

What is a PCI Compliance Test?

PCI compliance or penetration testing is mandated in Requirement 11 of PCI DSS 3.2.1. PCI testing involves an internal and external analysis of your network to ensure proper compliance at least once annually or following any significant infrastructure changes.

Penetration tests for PCI compliance identify ways hackers could exploit vulnerabilities in your system by analyzing various system components. The process includes network and application testing and considers the controls and processes within your network.

There are three primary categories of PCI penetration testing you might encounter before a PCI compliance audit:

  • Black box testing focuses on a brute-force attack to simulate a hacker unaware of your IT infrastructure’s specific framework. The tester simulates an all-out attack to exploit any identifiable weaknesses in your network through a “trial and error” approach.
  • White box testing simulates a situation where a hacker has complete knowledge of your infrastructure. This penetration test involves a tester who knows your application’s source code and architecture to identify vulnerabilities for targeted testing and analysis.
  • Gray box testing simulates a situation where a hacker has partial knowledge of your internal infrastructure. For example, the tester emulates a scenario where hackers have a software code but no information about your organization’s application architecture.

Why Do I Need a PCI Compliance Test?

A PCI compliance test is necessary to succeed during a PCI compliance audit. These tests expose vulnerabilities in your system to ensure that cardholder data is always protected from malicious activities. By identifying gaps in your PCI compliance process, your business can access the numerous benefits of PCI compliance.

Below are reasons to consider a PCI compliance test and how this process can help your organization thrive.

Ensures that Your System is Secure

One of the most fundamental reasons to conduct a PCI compliance test is to ensure your system is secure. Even if you believe your security standards comply with the PCI DSS, there’s no guarantee that your network is safe until you conduct a compliance test and a PCI compliance audit.

Ensuring that your system is secure and PCI compliant gives you additional peace of mind in your current security solutions.

Builds Trust with Consumers

Given that credit card fraud is the most common form of identity theft in the United States, consumers understandably hesitate to trust businesses with their card information. Taking action to prevent security breaches helps build trust with your customers. By adhering to PCI compliance standards, you show customers that you care about their safety and ease any anxieties they may have from previous credit card breaches.

Data breaches can be costly, and lost business is the most significant contributor to company data breach costs. Losing customer trust contributes to significant losses, with a 2019 study finding that the average cost of lost business due to a lack of trust between customers and the organization was $1.42 million, with an abnormal customer turnover rate of 3.9%. Compliance tests ensure you won’t lose consumer trust due to credit card fraud and system breaches.

Avoid Legal Fees

PCI compliance testing is essential to avoid any fees associated with non-compliance. Legal monthly fines can add up quickly the more your company remains non-compliant. A PCI compliance test identifies the vulnerabilities and gaps in your network that cause legal issues and accumulate fees.

Secures Business Data and Encourages Growth

A PCI compliance audit protects your customers and your company from data breaches that could lead to significant financial damages. Corporations are vulnerable to malware, ransomware, and numerous malicious attacks that could expose sensitive data.

Additionally, PCI compliance encourages compliance with other business regulations to help you meet industry standards through a more profound understanding of your security controls. Through compliance testing, your business can grow and develop trusting relationships with business partners who respect and value PCI compliance in other companies.

Boosts Your Reputation

Maintaining a positive reputation among bank acquirers, partners, and payment brands is necessary to help your business grow and thrive. Through regular PCI compliance tests, you can improve your reputation and show other organizations that you are a trustworthy partner.

Meet PCI Compliance Requirements

PCI compliance involves specific requirements to ensure your business handles sensitive data safely. PCI compliance requirements involve specific control objectives listed below:

  • Build and maintain a secure network
  • Protect cardholder data
  • Maintain a vulnerability management program
  • Implement strong access control measures
  • Maintain an information security policy

Learn More About PCI Compliance with ERMProtect

PCI compliance testing and auditing are essential to protect your customers and organization from financial damage. ERMProtect provides numerous PCI compliance solutions and services to guarantee that your organization consistently complies with the PCI DSS.

Our PCI compliance services include everything you need to meet regulatory standards, including the following:

  • PCI QSA security audit and certification
  • PCI PFI credit card data breach investigations
  • PCI DSS network scan
  • PCI SAQ assistance
  • PCI DSS penetration tests
  • PCI DSS gap analysis
  • PCI DSS remediation

Conducting a PCI compliance test doesn’t have to be complicated. Contact our expert team today to get started on maintaining your PCI DSS compliance and eliminating vulnerabilities in your network.

For more information about a PCI compliance test or a free quote, please contact jmiller@ermprotect.com or call 305.447-6750.

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