PCI Compliance

PCI Compliance Made Simple for Your Business

As a business owner, you understand the importance of trust and integrity in your operations, particularly when it involves handling sensitive client information.

For small to medium-sized businesses in service sectors like legal, accounting, and healthcare, maintaining the security of financial and personal data is not only about ethical business practice but also about legal and regulatory compliance.

PCI Compliance, or adherence to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), is crucial in this context.

And while you don’t need to know or understand all of the minutia in getting certified, it’s important that you do know the steps and the level of difficulty/complexity involved in getting it – and maintaining it.

That complexity and the need for consistency in all areas is one reason why it’s vital to augment your internal IT team with specifically experienced help.

What is PCI Compliance?

PCI Compliance involves meeting the standards set by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council to protect card data provided by cardholders.

This set of standards ensures that your business processes, stores, and transmits credit card information in a secure environment.

For technical and legal specifics on PCI DSS, you can visit the official PCI Security Standards Council website or explore the Federal Trade Commission’s guide on protecting personal information.

Why PCI Compliance Matters

Adhering to PCI DSS isn’t just about avoiding penalties associated with non-compliance; it’s about protecting your business from devastating data breaches that can lead to significant financial loss and damage to your reputation.

For businesses with 15 to 200 employees, achieving and maintaining PCI compliance can be particularly challenging due to limited resources. However, the benefits—enhanced security, improved customer confidence, and better risk management—far outweigh the efforts.

pci compliance process

There’s a long list of potential clients that might require PCI compliance from your business including:

Retailers, Financial Institutions, Hospitality, Healthcare providers, Educational institutions and more…

Steps to Achieve PCI Compliance

Achieving PCI Compliance involves several structured steps, each designed to ensure your business meets the stringent standards set by the PCI DSS.

Here’s a simplified guide to help you understand the process and some of the acronyms you’ll get to know:

  1. Identify Your Compliance Level: Depending on the volume of transactions your business processes annually, you will fall into one of the four merchant levels specified by PCI DSS. Each level has specific validation requirements.
  2. Complete a Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ): Depending on your merchant level, you’ll need to complete one of several versions of the SAQ, which is a self-validation tool to assess security for cardholder data.
  3. Conduct a Network Scan with an Approved Scanning Vendor (ASV): If you process transactions online, it’s mandatory to have your systems scanned for vulnerabilities by an ASV at least quarterly.
  4. Fill out the Attestation of Compliance (AOC): This is a form that needs to be completed by all companies that are required to be PCI compliant, declaring that you have fulfilled all the necessary PCI DSS requirements.
  5. Submit the SAQ, AOC, and ASV scan reports to your acquiring bank and card brands you do business with: Ensuring that all these documents are in order and submitted on time is crucial for maintaining compliance.

Simplifying Complex IT Challenges

We know that IT can be complex, and understanding every aspect of your IT infrastructure is not where your expertise lies—nor should it be.

You have a business to run, and your time is best spent focusing on strategic growth, not IT management. That’s why our solutions are designed to be straightforward and transparent.

We provide clear, concise documentation of your IT setup, so you always know what you have, how it works, and why it’s in place.

Moreover, our support team is here to explain things in terms you can understand, without unnecessary jargon or technical details.

Whether you need a simple explanation of a new software solution or a comprehensive briefing on your security posture, we communicate in a way that makes sense to you. This clarity not only empowers you with knowledge but also ensures that you feel confident in the IT decisions affecting your business.

Key Areas Assessed for PCI Compliance

Each of these areas is simply stated/described below. But don’t let the summaries give you the wrong impression.

The PCI DSS framework covers six major objectives that form the backbone of the standards. Each objective encompasses complex requirements that ensure a secure data environment:

  1. Build and Maintain a Secure Network and Systems:
    • Install and maintain a firewall configuration: This involves complex network switch configurations and the segmentation of wireless networks.
    • Avoid using vendor-supplied defaults: Change system passwords and security parameters to unique, secure settings.
    • Monitor all user activity: Implement processes and third-party applications to track and monitor user activity within the network.
  2. Protect Cardholder Data:
    • Protect stored cardholder data: Use encryption and other methods to secure data.
    • Encrypt transmission of cardholder data: Ensure data is encrypted when transmitted across open, public networks.
  3. Maintain a Vulnerability Management Program:
    • Use and regularly update anti-virus software: Keep systems and applications secure from malware.
    • Develop and maintain secure systems and applications: Regularly update software and apply security patches.
  4. Implement Strong Access Control Measures:
    • Restrict access to cardholder data: Limit access to those who need it.
    • Assign unique IDs to each user: Ensure every person with computer access has a unique identifier.
    • Restrict physical access to data: Control who can physically access cardholder data.
  5. Regularly Monitor and Test Networks:
    • Track and monitor access to network resources: Keep detailed logs of access to cardholder data.
    • Regularly test security systems: Conduct regular tests to ensure security measures are effective.
  6. Maintain an Information Security Policy:
    • Establish a security policy: Ensure all personnel are aware of and follow security policies.

The Complexity of PCI Compliance

It’s important to understand that each area of PCI compliance requirements is very deep and involves many complex tasks. For example, building and maintaining a secure network and systems encompasses:

  • Complex network switch configurations: Setting up and managing network devices.
  • Segmentation of wireless networks: Isolating different parts of the network for security.
  • Monitoring user activity: Continuously tracking what users do on the network.
  • Processes and third-party applications: Utilizing various tools and services to maintain security.

Achieving and maintaining PCI compliance is an expensive and time-consuming endeavor, requiring re-certification annually with new compliance requirements added each year.

Partner with Verified Technologies for Seamless PCI Compliance

Choosing the right partner to achieve PCI compliance is critical. Verified Technologies understands the specific needs and challenges faced by SMBs like yours. We are an owner-operated business, just like yours, which makes us uniquely positioned to understand and address your specific needs.

Here’s how Verified Technologies makes a difference:

  1. Tailored Compliance Solutions: We recognize that your business is unique. Our solutions are customized to address your specific operational needs and compliance requirements.
  2. Co-Managed IT Services: At Verified Technologies, we extend beyond traditional service roles to become a part of your team. Our co-managed IT approach means we collaborate with your internal staff, ensuring seamless compliance and security operations.
  3. Ongoing Monitoring and Adaptation: Compliance is a continuous journey, especially as threats evolve and regulations change. We provide ongoing monitoring and regular updates to your security practices to keep your data protection up to date.
  4. Training and Support: Empowering your team with knowledge about data security and compliance is crucial. We offer comprehensive training and resources to ensure everyone is equipped to contribute to your security posture effectively.


If you’re researching PCI compliance, it’s likely being required by a potential customer or in some way will obviously have a positive impact on your bottom line.

And while it IS complicated and demanding – it’s far easier when the Verified Technologies team is navigating you through the process.

By partnering with Verified Technologies, you benefit from expert guidance and support throughout the process. And that means your business not only achieves but maintains PCI compliance, securing your business’s credibility, trustworthiness and new business.


Verified Technologies does NOT provide any cyber security services, cyber monitoring, hacking detection services in our regular managed services agreements unless it’s specifically defined in a separate statement of work. Please contact us with any questions.