How to become PCI DSS compliant with the help of ISO 27001
Jessica Doering

February 13, 2023



 min reading time

PCI DSS standard in the FinTech industry

Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) explained in a short blog. 

Let’s dive in…

That uncomfortable feeling when you pay for something with your credit card and the little wheel has been spinning a little too long…, "please let the green check mark appear"! 

Or one website after the other opens... a journey from one service provider to the next until I receive a "payment confirmation". Nightmare scenarios. 

What actually happens while you wait and hope you don't get hacked in those 8 seconds? Although you have no idea how you actually get "hacked" anyway. Well…

A question that is hard to answer. What is easy to answer, however, is how the card data is used securely. FinTechs that handle such data and information are subject to regulations about how they should handle it. 

Because that is ensured by the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard - PCI DSS. 

What is PCI DSS?

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) applies to all businesses that accept, process, store, or transmit cardholder data, regardless of size or number of transactions. If your business accepts payment cards, you most likely must comply with PCI DSS.

It's important to know that the responsibility for PCI DSS compliance lies with merchants, not card manufacturers or banks. If you violate PCI DSS, you could face financial penalties and damage to your reputation, so you should take it seriously.

If You run a fintech:

If you operate a fintech business that processes credit card payments, you will be expected to comply with PCI DSS. Accepting payment cards, processing, storing or transmitting cardholder data triggers the PCI DSS compliance requirement.

It is essential to ensure that your systems, networks, and processes are secure and meet PCI DSS requirements. This will help you protect your customers' sensitive data, such as credit card numbers and personal information, from unauthorized access or theft.

Requirements for PCI DSS Compliance:

  • Firewall use and maintenance
  • Adequate password protection
  • Protection of cardholder data
  • Encrypt transferred data
  • Use and maintain anti-virus
  • Properly updated software
  • Restricting data access
  • Exclusive IDs for access
  • Physical access restriction
  • Create and maintain access protocols
  • Scanning and testing for vulnerabilities
  • Document policies

The general steps to follow to become PCI DSS compliant:

  • Review the PCI DSS requirements: Make sure you understand the 12 requirements outlined in the standard, including securing networks, protecting cardholder data, maintaining a vulnerability management program, and regularly monitoring and testing security systems.
  • Assess your current environment: Identify where cardholder data is stored, transmitted, and processed, and assess the current security of these systems.
  • Implement the necessary controls: Based on the results of your assessment, implement the necessary security controls to meet the requirements of the PCI DSS.
  • Self-assess: Complete a self-assessment questionnaire to determine your level of compliance with the standard.
  • Undergo an assessment by a QSA: If you're unable to complete a successful self-assessment, or if you're required to do so by your acquiring bank, undergo an assessment by a QSA. (A Qualified Security Assessor is an individual or company certified by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) to assess an organization's compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).)
  • Report compliance: If you pass the assessment, you'll receive a Report on Compliance (ROC), which you can use to demonstrate your compliance with the PCI DSS.

Eventually every company that stores, processes or transfers credit card data must meet the requirements of the PCI DSS and prove this once a year.

Note that the specific steps and requirements for PCI DSS certification can vary depending on the size and complexity of your organization, as well as the type of card transactions you handle.

A FinTech doesn't have it easy when it comes to compliance and security.... Complying with PCI DSS, various global laws and standards, such as the GDPR, can make it difficult to keep track of everything. 

On top of that, you may face different information security requirements and regulations in different countries! 

That's why ISO 27001 provides a framework that brings the various laws and regulations together in one central place - your individual ISMS.

So, if you're looking to comply with PCI DSS, implementing ISO 27001 can help you achieve that goal.

However, it's important to note that ISO 27001 is a broader standard that covers a wide range of information security issues, while PCI DSS is specific to the protection of credit card data.

Focus on building Security and run Compliance in the background

Secfix has the largest partner network of pentesting companies and auditors in EU and can reduce the time, effort and cost for an ISO 27001 certification with its software.

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Jessica Doering

Jess is the marketing mind at Secfix. She loves every dog on this planet and is especially open-minded for any future-oriented inspiring humans and things that cross her path.

ISO 27001

ISO 27001
ISO 27001