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3 reasons you should be outsourcing your PCI DSS compliance

When you outsource to a PCI DSS compliant data security partner, you are offloading the risks of handling sensitive data while reaping in the benefits.

outsourcing pcc dss compliance

For fintech startups to enterprise companies, Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliance often poses a problem when it should be a solution. Following PCI DSS standards has proven time and time again to be expensive and draining. For small businesses, it can be downright cost-prohibitive. Despite this, PCI DSS compliance is mandatory for any business that handles cardholder data.

The goal of PCI DSS is to protect cardholder data – names, credit card numbers, and other sensitive data – while reducing fraud. Compliance is crucial for public trust, and it’s a necessity in today’s world of regular data breaches.

But it comes at a high cost.

The $1 million dollars in initial costs for PCI Level 1 compliance and six-figure annual maintenance figures – assuming you don’t need to regularly update your audits with changes and additions to your environment – are based on building in-house solutions. The costs are still significant for PCI Level 2 through 4 – starting at around $70,000

Even businesses who try to mix in-house, DIY solutions with one or two vendors, find their costs to still remain substantial. Meanwhile, the company must still shoulder all of the liability in case of a data breach or other cybersecurity threat.  

But there is another method: Outsourcing.

Fully outsourcing your PCI DSS compliance needs can revolutionize your business – while saving you money, time, and resources. Here are our top three reasons you should consider outsourcing your PCI DSS endeavors.

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  1. Reduce Costs and Gain Back Engineering Time  

PCI DSS compliance relies on 12 guidelines. Unfortunately, this often looks deceptively simple to new businesses. Each guideline can be broken down into numerous requirements, which take a considerable amount of resources to address and maintain. Furthermore, every time you make a change to your system or processes, you get another audit to reassess and demonstrate your compliance certification.

As we mentioned earlier, the costs and time to set up and maintain a PCI environment can be substantial – $70,000 and 2 to 3 months for a start-up seeking PCI level 4 and close to $1M and more than 6 months for a business seeking PCI level 1 according to research by Verifi and Mastercard.  

In other words, it’s a nightmare.

Capital and man-hours you could be using for your business disappear into the void of data security and compliance.

However, if you outsource your system to a partner that exclusively works in data security, you can reduce costs and improve employee bandwidth for business products considerably. Startups like SteadiPay and Yofii have used outsourcing solutions to shave months off of their PCI compliance time and up to $250,000 per year in costs, all while boosting their brand trust.

  1. Get Enterprise-Level Security – Plus All the Updates

Whether you are a security expert or not, a third-party Compliance-as-a-Service provider will make sure you never have to worry if you are using the state of the art security solution. about which is better (it’s data aliasing, by the way). You won’t have to worry about ongoing penetration and vulnerability testing, plus upgrading your systems and environment for each new data regulation. PCI DSS compliance often dovetails with data security requirements in regulations like the California Consumer Protection Act (CCPA) or the GDPR framework. In addition, with a data security partner, you don’t have to worry about adjusting your internal systems when a framework or regulation is updated. Your data security partner will do that for you.

  1. Remove All Your Liabilities – Peace of Mind

The best part about outsourcing, quite frankly, is removing your business from the liability of a data breach.

You don’t have to worry about hacks or accidental leaks by well-meaning employees. That’s because you won’t have access to the real sensitive data that can do harm.

A solid outsourcing solution will offer tokenization or data aliasing protection. In this case, your systems will only see a random variable that represents the data – not the data itself. While you can use it as if you had an actual credit card number, the real data never touches your system.

This is called the Zero Data approach and it basically takes you out of PCI scope.

What will end up happening is that you will inherit the PCI compliance of your data security provider so you can own and use your data without the associated risk. Not only will you able to sleep better at night, but you’ll obtain certification faster, too.

The Future is Zero Data

Zero Data is only possible because of outsourcing. When you outsource to a PCI DSS compliant data security partner, you are offloading the risks of handling sensitive data while reaping in the benefits.

You never have to see or touch a piece of raw data, but you can operate your business as if you had it. At the same time, you can obtain PCI compliance and gain the trust of future partners and customers. The best part? It cuts down on long-term costs, reduces overhead, and you can become compliant in weeks rather than months.

Want to learn more about whether outsourcing is right for your business? Check out Very Good Security for more on the future of PCI Compliance and data security.

Have any thoughts on this? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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