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Archer Employee
Archer Employee

What are the basics of PCI-DSS Compliance?

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) defines a consolidated set of security best practices endorsed by major card brands, which are designed to reduce fraud risk associated with credit card processing. Organizations that fail to comply may lose their ability to accept credit card payments, which could greatly impact their ability to conduct business. However, with the continually increasing velocity and sophistication of new threats, maintaining an effective PCI- DSS compliance program has become an increasingly costly business requirement as well - and those costs can be substantial.


The PCI-DSS is considered one of the more prescriptive and technical compliance mandates that companies must typically deal with. This can be both good and bad. In contrast, many higher level government mandates like federal regulations are often written in broader terms that can be difficult to interpret into actionable specifics like precise internal control definitions. The more a company has to guess at what’s expected, the greater the chance of guessing wrong and either undercompensating (raising the inherent risk of running afoul of the regulation); or overcompensating, which can increase the internal costs and burden of compliance unnecessarily.


The benefit of PCI’s more prescriptive language is better clarity in terms of understanding what’s expected, how it will be audited, and specific reporting requirements. However, the other side of the coin with PCI is the extensive technical breadth and depth of its coverage. Encryption, network segmentation, multi-factor authentication, and external vulnerability scanning are a few areas where companies often struggle, either because of technical limitations or significant additional technology investments needed.


Why is a program approach to PCI Compliance so important?

Companies able to gain efficiencies by optimizing their operational compliance efforts will be more successful at reducing compliance costs and gaps. Consolidating organizational compliance initiatives into a single comprehensive view is the most effective way to identify and eliminate duplicate efforts and reduce overall compliance risk. The technical nature of PCI can often force companies to undertake process improvements, technical infrastructure overhauls, and even facility construction projects simultaneously. A streamlined program approach helps to keep things organized and drive consistent, successful outcomes.


RSA Archer PCI Management

RSA Archer Controls Assurance Program and RSA Archer Controls Monitoring Program provide a solid foundation for managing any organizational compliance initiative. However, PCI’s unique characteristics and pervasive global reach offer an opportunity to take things several steps further. RSA Archer PCI Management is designed to do just that, by enabling organizations to streamline the compliance process, simplify stakeholder participation, and reduce overall compliance effort and cost.


RSA Archer PCI Management guides merchants through identifying and defining cardholder data flows and environments, engaging the proper stakeholders, completing self-assessment questionnaires (SAQs), testing and gathering evidence for all required controls, and managing the gap remediation process.


Key features include:

  • Easy-to-use project workflows to manage CDE (cardholder data environment) scoping and multiple, ongoing compliance assessment projects.
  • Structured content libraries linking each discreet control requirement in the PCI-DSS to an extensive control testing repository ensuring full coverage across internal and external assessment activities.
  • Persona-driven dashboards and questionnaires that simplify the attestation and evidence gathering process and provide clear insight into compliance activity status.
  • Aggregated issues management functionality for tracking findings and gaps and managing the remediation process.
  • One-click reporting templates to assemble all required deliverables into a properly formatted Report on Compliance (ROC) for easy review and submission.


Customers can also enjoy seamless integration with other RSA Archer use cases designed to tackle all aspects of Integrated Risk Management in their unique environments. Organizational leaders with optimized programs in place have a distinct advantage for exploring the opportunity landscape, by enabling them to identify with confidence the business risks that are worth taking.


For more information, please visit and review the Datasheet.