No matter the size of your business or the industry you’re operating in, there are regulations you must follow, and this is especially important for companies handling customer payment information. These companies should be following PCI DSS compliance standards. Ensuring your business is correctly following these standards typically involves being evaluated by a PCI-certified Quality Security Assessor (QSA) company.
There are several reasons why you should consider hiring a QSA company for your business — but first, let’s take a step back and examine what such a company is and does.
What is a QSA Company?
QSA companies are independent security companies that will validate your business’ adherence to PCI DSS compliance standards. These organizations have been qualified by the PCI Security Standards Council after passing a rigorous exam. There are several industry-recognized certifications that PCI-certified companies can hold, including:
- Certified Information System Security Professional (CISSP)
- Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
- Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
- GIAC Systems and Network Auditor (GSNA)
Sentek Cyber is among the qualified QSA companies that have met these standards.
What Are the Benefits of Hiring a QSA Company?
They’re Compliance Experts
QSA companies with PCI certification are guaranteed experts in PCI DSS compliance standards. They will have the knowledge to conduct thorough security assessments. If they find you’ve failed on certain requirements, the company will also have the experience to guide you through what’s needed to become compliant.
They’re Always On Top of Industry Standards
Network security is an ever-changing industry. QSA companies remain on top of shifting compliance standards and communicate necessary changes to their clients (in this case, you). Yet just knowing this information isn’t enough: PCI QSA companies also have to pass recurring exams to remain certified.
They Save You Time
Finally, hiring a QSA company means you aren’t navigating the complicated world of PCI DSS compliance alone. While it is possible to learn about compliance and security assessments on your own, wouldn’t you rather dedicate that time to growing and expanding your business? Just as you hire accountants and lawyers for their specific knowledge, business owners should turn to QSA companies for their payment security expertise.
If your company is sued due to a security breach, showing that you followed all recommended steps (i.e. hiring a QSA company to verify your PCI DSS compliance) can possibly offer leverage.
Does My Business Need to Hire a QSA Company?
PCI DSS compliance isn’t required by federal law. However, it’s highly recommended that all companies that handle customer payment information seek compliance. By extension, we recommend all companies have their compliance certified by a QSA company.
When it comes to choosing a security company, it’s important to remember that not all companies are created equal. Some QSA companies may have more experience working within a particular industry, such as retail or healthcare. Some may be able to advise beyond the compliance checklist and help you with security implementation and more complex initiatives. Others may simply have more years of experience.
When choosing a QSA company, make sure to get references. Ask in-depth questions about the company’s experience and auditing timelines. If you choose the wrong QSA company, you could face a months-long process that would have taken an experienced company a fraction of the time to complete.
Making the Right Choice for Your Business
In short, neither being PCI DSS compliant nor hiring a QSA company is required by law. However, it is something we recommend all businesses do. If you’re just starting your search for a QSA company, the PCI Security Standards Council provides a directory of qualified security assessors located around the world.
Remember that PCI DSS is a specific type of compliance that deals with network and transaction security, which is a highly specialized area of information technology. When it comes to running your business, customer security should be top priority.
Sentek Cyber is a trusted firm with a wealth of experience spanning multiple industries. We are proud to be a certified QSA company and would love to find out more about your company and your specific needs. Contact us today to start a conversation.