5 ways to improve your PCI compliance program

Thor Olavsrud

In fact, it's well-worth taking the step of calculating the ROI you'll get from your PCI compliance programs in addition to calculating the TCO, Simonetti says. Doing so will help you understand the overall impact of your compliance program, which you can leverage into real support from the business for your efforts.

5. Focus on Scoping

An effective PCI program is built upon a clear definition of the systems, processes and people that store, process or access CHD, according to Verizon. If you focus on scope, you can reduce the scale of the task at hand and make it much more manageable.

"We still see too many companies not applying one very simple step for reducing scope," Simonetti says. "If you don't need it, don't store it. Storing the data, especially when it's not required, is just taking a risk that's not worth it."

By reducing the scope of the environment to be validated, you can achieve the following:

  • Reduce risk. By keeping the spread of CHD across your organization to a minimum, you can limit the risk of data leaking or being stolen. And if you will minimize the scale of any data breaches that do happen. Verizon recommends creating designated "compartments" between the various networks within your organization to help categorize and securely contain business data.
  • Reduce workload. Keeping the amount of data you need to protect to a minimum also helps you significantly cut your compliance workload. Any system validated as "out of scope" doesn't need to be assessed.
  • Control operating costs. While you're making changes to your infrastructure to reduce scope, you may find opportunities to consolidate systems and restructure environments, providing savings on hardware, software licenses and management.

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