PCI compliance failure has a ripple effect with security breaches at an all-time high

Research indicates that 83% of US companies were impacted by a cyberattack
and 45% of US companies detected and reported a data breach in 2021. Source: [1] [2]

These numbers are likely understated, given that many breaches go undetected.

Strengthen customer trust by minimizing fraud and improving transaction security for CHD

How to achieve and maintain PCI compliance:

Protect your customers and their data by keeping your organization PCI compliant.

In our digital age, lax security can enable criminals to easily steal and use personal consumer financial information from payment card transactions and processing systems. Minimizing financial fraud and improving transaction security strengthens trust between your organization and the customers you serve when accepting, processing, storing, and transmitting cardholder data (CHD). Avoid costly PCI DSS-related litigation and damage to your reputation and your brand by achieving and maintaining PCI compliance.

PCI DSS compliance involves:

  • Adhering to protection of CHD
  • Demonstrating compliance through periodic scanning and reporting
  • Obtaining validation from a Qualified Security Assessor (QSA) and Approved Scanning Vendor (ASV)

The exact PCI DSS compliance requirements vary based on the number of credit card transactions you process annually, as well as the specific requirements of the major payment card brands or acquirers.

However, with more than 350 potential control requirements to address, demonstrating PCI DSS compliance can quickly become an onerous process.

PCI Qualified Security Assessor Logo

PBMares is a Qualified Security Assessor (QSA) and partners with an Approved Scanning Vendor (ASV).

For more than a decade, we’ve been working with boards and upper management to prepare against high-profile cyber-attacks and shore up digital trust.


Antonina K. McAvoy, CISA, CISM, QSA, PCIP

Partner, Cybersecurity & Control Risk Services

PCI Compliance = Peace of Mind

The PCI DSS Practice at PBMares helps organizations like you achieve and maintain PCI compliance and peace of mind. 

PBMares PCI Compliance Services

As an authorized QSA, PBMares will help your organization achieve and demonstrate PCI DSS compliance under the current framework version 3.2.1. Our QSA team can also help your organization transition from version 3.2.1 to version 4.0 and address emerging threats and technologies with innovative solutions.

With our team’s expert guidance, strengthen your overall security posture, promote security as a continuous process, and tackle every one of your PCI DSS compliance needs:

A PCI Report on Compliance (ROC) is issued by a QSA and provides details about your organization’s security posture, environment, systems, and protection of cardholder data. The ROC is developed through an onsite assessment and evaluation of controls using a standardized template provided to all QSAs.

By engaging PBMares as your authorized QSA, you receive best practice recommendations to properly represent your status on PCI compliance by closing compliance gaps and remediating identified deficiencies.

Ideal for small merchants and service providers that are not required to submit a report on compliance, a PCI Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ) is designed as a self-validation tool to assess security of CHD. There are nine types of SAQs. Which SAQ is right for your organization? The answer depends on how you accept payment cards.

There are two components to the SAQ. The first is filling out the set of questions within the SAQ, enabling you to understand how well your current security posture aligns with relevant PCI requirements. The second is obtaining an appropriate Attestation of Compliance that you are eligible to have performed by a QSA.

Even though a SAQ is a self-assessment, many organizations look to PBMares for expert guidance to ensure the assessment is conducted properly.

The PCI Attestation of Compliance (AOC) reports your organization’s PCI DSS compliance status and attests to the fact that you’re using best practices to protect the security of CHD.

Just like the SAQ, there are several versions of the AOC. Which one is right for your organization depends on which SAQ was applicable. Our experienced team of professionals at PBMares can simplify this process for you and as an authorized QSA, release an AOC.

PCI DSS penetration testing is an assessment designed to identify and address vulnerabilities in network infrastructure and applications from outside and inside your network environment.

You can engage PBMares for penetration testing in any area — from cloud computing, firewalls, and web applications to mobile devices and network security. We’ll make recommendations to address identified vulnerabilities using PCI compliance best practices.

PCI DSS requires two independent vulnerability scanning methods — internal and external. The scans evaluate your network from different perspectives.

PBMares can identify and address vulnerabilities and provide prioritized expert recommendations for managing and remediating those vulnerabilities through an authorized ASV.

A PCI DSS Gap Analysis is performed by a QSA and highlights discrepancies between your cardholder data environment (CDE) and the latest version of PCI DSS. The result is a detailed list of systems, networks, and applicable PCI DSS controls that require attention.

When PBMares performs this analysis for you, you’ll have a concise snapshot of your PCI DSS compliance and a cost-effective and prioritized remediation plan. Plus, you will thoroughly understand your PCI DSS audit readiness and be able to proactively address any gaps or deficiencies.

PBMares provides training to increase employee awareness of PCI DSS requirements, so employees can take appropriate action to protect your organization and your customers’ cardholder data. Employees walk away with a clear understanding of best practices for identifying, addressing, and mitigating cybersecurity risks.

Fines, fees, litigation, reputation damage, and lost business are just the beginning:

  • Cyber attacks can take up to a month to be fully contained.
  • Companies that experience a breach underperform the market by more than 15% just three years later.
  • 55% of companies suffer losses due to compliance failure.
  • In one study, business leaders were more concerned about damage to reputation and business viability than compliance fines. 
Source: [1] [3]

Are You PCI DSS Compliant?

PBMares is an active PCI DSS Qualified Security Assessor Company. Download a copy of our services guide today and learn more about compliance requirements and how we can help you.

pci dss compliance services guide pbmares


Achieving PCI DSS Compliance

PCI DSS compliance efforts follow yearly and quarterly cycles. Each cycle can be divided into a 5-step process as shown in the diagram.

pci dss compliance process pbmares

Frequently Asked Questions

All entities that store, process, and/or transmit cardholder data (CHD) must achieve and demonstrate data security compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards, collectively referred to as PCI DSS. Additionally, merchants who accept or process payment cards must also comply with PCI DSS.

Any business that handles payment data (from physical banks, retail locations, online payment processors, and/or e-commerce sites) must be able to prove PCI compliance.

You may need to demonstrate compliance to customers and/or outside regulatory agencies.

  • Minimize the risk of cyber attacks and regulatory penalties
  • Strategically develop a roadmap for incident response planning
  • Demonstrate your commitment to security
  • Increase protection for cardholder data
  • Deepen customer trust
  • Maintain and improve your organization’s reputation

You need a partner who is a registered QSA vendor and has breadth and depth of experience with cyber assurance.

But you also need a team that will use the big-picture perspective of your organization and a long-term view of your security needs.

And you want experts who get the job done without being invasive, take the time to explain new concepts with humility, and stay on top of new standards, so you don’t have to.

That’s exactly what you get with PBMares.

Don’t fall behind on PCI compliance.

We’ll help you navigate the early stages of PCI standards and the changes yet to come.

Both large and small businesses are responsible for protecting cardholder data by complying with PCI Data Security Standards (PCI DSS).

Falling behind on PCI compliance exposes your organization to significant penalties. In addition to being costly, compliance failure leaves the business vulnerable to the many other negative impacts of a data breach.

But because PCI compliance is a complex and constantly evolving set of standards, many organizations struggle to keep up with the ongoing updates designed to incorporate new best practices.

Talk with our QSA professionals to assess and manage your risk.


Sources:   [1] 2021 KPMG Study   [2] 2021 Thales Data Threat Report   [3] Comparitech Study