PCI DSS: What's the cost of DIY compliance vs de-scoping?

Tackling PCI DSS compliance can feel like you're battling with hydra from Greek mythology ... the moment you think you’re making progress, the monster grows another head. So, is it time to hand the job to someone with more firepower?

Achieving compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a 'must' for smart-thinking merchants that receive payments over the phone, web, mobile app or chat channels. You need to protect cardholder data wherever it’s processed, stored and transmitted within your contact center systems and environment.

Just recently, we've looked at the cost of doing nothing about PCI DSS compliance. Without proper protection, you risk receiving fines, card restrictions, lost business and a damaged brand reputation if sensitive card information is stolen by hackers or employees.

We also examined the thrills, perils and costs of taking a DIY approach to compliance. The sheer scale and cost of achieving PCI DSS compliance can be mind-boggling. And it's not just a once-a-year activity. Compliance must be kept up, non-stop, while criminals are becoming ever more subtle and devious in their attempts to 'crack the system'.

But what about asking a specialist partner to provide PCI DSS compliance for you? That way, you could de-scope your environment completely, a very attractive outsourcing option.

Keeping out cardholder data
Today, it's possible to provide PCI DSS compliant payment capabilities on all your existing channels quickly and easily without massive cost, risk and complexity. All the cardholder data can be handled by a secure payment partner. They verify payments and ensure that anything sensitive bypasses your agents and systems completely.

This sounds like a dream solution to the hassles of DIY compliance. But what are the costs of outsourcing PCI DSS? Let's look at three.

Costs #1: Operating expenditure
Using a third party partner for PCI DSS compliance will cost, naturally. But there are two big advantages with outsourcing how your payments are secured and verified. Firstly, you can avoid the massive ongoing costs of added security for your systems, environment and people. Secondly, the fees you pay to a partner will be predictable you won't face unexpected financial pressure whenever new vulnerabilities suddenly appear and need fixing fast.

Cost #2: Risk of failure
Outsourcing doesn't mean you're off the hook. Even though you're trusting a third party partner for your PCI DSS compliance, your organization is still just as liable for fines and other penalties if your partner makes any blunders and security is breached. That's why it's essential to ask about the robustness of your provider's service and their track record. What's the total value of transactions they handle per year? Which organizations rely on their platform already? What customer satisfaction levels do they have? It's vital to get the right answers.

Cost #3: Missed opportunities
In today's highly-competitive selling environment, it's essential for merchants to enhance the customer experience and offer payment services on every channel, including new ones such as payments over Live Chat and Apple Pay. But this begs the question: can your PCI DSS partner secure new channels and keep up with your business aspirations? Choosing the wrong partner could prove costly in the future.

Select the right partner with care
There's a compelling case for using an experienced partner to handle PCI DSS compliance so you can keep cardholder data out of your contact center environment — and completely remove the threat of a data breach. However, it's essential to choose the right partner if you want to avoid the risks and make sure you don't miss new business opportunities.

Looking for the best path to PCI DSS compliance?
Download your free copy of our definitive guide to PCI DSS. You'll discover everything you wanted to know about secure payments but were too afraid to ask.

If you’re not convinced by PCI DSS compliance then read our jargon-free guide which explains the rise in CNP crime in contact centers, where you’re vulnerable and what you can do to combat the threat.

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Posted by eckoh at 1:59 PM on Jun 6, 2018

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