importance of pci dss training

Credit cards and debit cards provide great convenience to consumers when shopping both online and offline. But with this, so has the payment security challenges increased for retailers. Despite a lot of measures taken for ensuring secure payment processing at every step, sensitive cardholder data are often exposed to risk. Criminals have for long been keeping in pace with the evolving advanced technology used as security measures for protecting payment data.

Regular news of high-profile breach shows the pressing need for organizations to comply with PCI DSS requirements to protect cardholder data. Apart from having in place security measures, it is essential for organizations to conduct PCI DSS Training and awareness programs for their employees dealing with card data.

Employees at PCI DSS certified Merchants, Service Providers, Brands, etc are an integral part of the business operations and so training them is equally essential. Today let us understand why PCI Compliance training is essential and how does it benefit the organization and its customers. 

PCI DSS Training

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS Compliance) applies to all merchants and service providers who transmit process or store payment card data. Further, as stated in Clause 12.6 of the PCI DSS mandates, organizations are required to conduct PCI DSS Training and awareness programs annually.

This is to ensure that the staff are aware of the compliance requirements and the risk exposures they are dealing with pertaining to cardholder data. Implementing a security awareness training program along with having in place measures to ensure enforcement of the same is critical. 

The PCI DSS training program helps in understanding the PCI DSS requirements, cardholder data security policy and procedures, and improving the payment card processing. Employees are the face of the organization and so they need to be well trained for the task.

Talking to customers and processing customer payment data is their routine task. So, with them handling sensitive data day in and out, they must abide by the regulation and ensure securing the payment process. Besides conducting regular PCI Compliance training is security best practice and defence against retail fraud, data breach, and mishandling of data. 

Importance of PCI DSS Training 

  • While PCI DSS is an important step towards data security, getting trained is equally important for implementing those standards.
  • PCI DSS Training helps in understanding the current status of security systems, and processes.
  • The program makes the staff aware of their roles and responsibilities towards data protection.
  • Keeps well informed about the policies and procedures implemented for cardholder data protection. 
  • PCI Training helps in the proactive implementation of PCI DSS across business processes and operations. 
  • The program equips employees to deal with threats that may occur at any point in time.
  • The PCI Compliance training program also helps employees come up with solutions with the knowledge they gained from a PCI Training program. 
  • The program also allows organizations to understand the efficiency of the compliance process.
  • The training program also helps organizations introspect the security posture from time to time. 
  • Most importantly, training is important for it allows classifying processes and systems effectively while scoping which often happens during the compliance process.
  • One of the most important reasons for PCI Compliance Training program is that in case of a breach, the Regulatory bodies / PCI Council / Clients / Stakeholders would be very interested to even know whether the knowledgebase of the team was updated to be more alert and vigilant.

Benefits of PCI Compliance Training

1.Compliance Awareness- PCI DSS Training helps build awareness about compliance among its employees. Moreover, the training program makes them aware of the policies and procedures enforced for compliance. Training goes a long way in the implementation of regulatory frameworks and security controls in the organization. 

2.Well informed of the roles & responsibilities- Training makes employees aware of their roles and responsibilities pertaining to the security of cardholder data. It will ensure they work in accordance with the rules and abide by every policy and procedure.  

3.Secures sensitive data- PCI Compliance training helps employees deal with sensitive data. They will implement the best practice taught to them in the program for handling sensitive cardholder data securely. Apart from having security measures in place, the training program will also ensure the protection of cardholder data against threats of mishandling or data theft. 

4.Avoid fines and lawsuits- The possibility of non-compliance reduces with appropriate training given to employees for dealing with cardholder data. This will further prevent hefty fines and lawsuits of non-compliance. 

5.Reduces the possibility of Data Breach –  The chance of Data Breach significantly reduces with PCI Compliance training programs.  The training helps build awareness about the risk and consequences of data breaches. So employees will be more vigilant when it comes to data security. 

6.Raise red flags- Employees who are well- trained and aware of the risk and threats will be in a better position to raise a red flag when there are issues detected by them. Whistle-blowing may possibly prevent or limit the impact of data breaches on businesses. Further, it allows organizations to mitigate the risk or undertake damage controls of the incident.

Final Thought 

Be it employees working at the front desk with customers, or at the back-end of the office, they are equally responsible for complying with PCI DSS Standards. Employees need to be aware of the PIC Compliance requirements and ensure that they abide by the rules. They need to be trained and aware of the way card data be handled and protected.

PCI Compliance training program is an important part of the PCI DSS Compliance and security requirement. Further, educating employees on PCI rules is the best practice for all organizations to secure the processing of card data.  So organizations must look to collaborate with cyber security firms like us to conduct PCI DSS Training programs annually.

VISTA InfoSec is an international cyber security consulting firm having years of industry experience and knowledge (16 years) on various industry compliance and regulations. For more details on our training program, you can visit our Academia Compliance website which is an initiative towards equipping corporate employees on various industry Compliance and Regulation.

Narendra Sahoo
Narendra Sahoo

Narendra Sahoo (PCI QSA, PCI QPA, CISSP, CISA, and CRISC) is the Founder and Director of VISTA InfoSec, a global Information Security Consulting firm, based in the US, Singapore & India. Mr. Sahoo holds more than 25 years of experience in the IT Industry, with expertise in Information Risk Consulting, Assessment, & Compliance services. VISTA InfoSec specializes in Information Security audit, consulting and certification services which include GDPR, HIPAA, CCPA, NESA, MAS-TRM, PCI DSS Compliance & Audit, PCI PIN, SOC2 Compliance & Audit, PDPA, PDPB to name a few. The company has for years (since 2004) worked with organizations across the globe to address the Regulatory and Information Security challenges in their industry. VISTA InfoSec has been instrumental in helping top multinational companies achieve compliance and secure their IT infrastructure.