Every business has a unique approach to becoming compliant. Some use advanced technologies, while others rely on QSAs to ensure yearly validation. However, having a thorough compliance model is critical for PCI standards. A project management approach is one of the best ways to help your company work through a PCI audit.
But how can you implement project management during PCI compliance? This article will cover the benefits of using project management and provide specific steps for implementing this approach during PCI DSS.
Why Use A Project Management Approach For PCI Compliance?
You may be wondering why the project management approach is suitable for establishing a compliant environment. When planning for a project, many different factors are considered to ensure smooth execution. You may involve multiple stakeholders, dedicate adequate resources, and implement additional steps towards protecting data. These same principles are what will help you ensure that payment information is processed in a safe, efficient, and compliant manner.
Some of the benefits of following a project management approach include:
1. Increase The Credibility Of Your Compliance Model
Using a project management approach increases the credibility of your PCI compliance steps. This is because all objectives are clearly defined, while deliverables, timelines, and the scope of compliance are also communicated from the very beginning. Furthermore, the entire organization is on the same page when it comes to resource allocation, setting priorities, and informing all staff of their specific duties.
With a credible model for compliance, you can increase customer confidence and assure governing bodies that your systems are robust enough to avert data security threats.
2. Save On Costs
Compliance involves many different stakeholders. From IT professionals to HR and Finance, coordinating multiple departments is the only way of maintaining a PCI compliant environment.
Using a project management approach allows you to take advantage of tools and techniques such as path analysis and activity sequencing. In this way, you can save on costs and ensure the smooth implementation of required processes.
3. Reduce Data Risks
PCI compliance doesn’t come without risk. For example, installing new systems, networks, and workflows can be a risky process due to the potential leaking of sensitive customer data. Using a project management approach allows you to analyze your risk environment during every step of the compliance process. You can identify, quantify, monitor, and control your risks when talking steps towards PCI compliance. In this way, the threat of incurring risks is mitigated.
Steps For Creating A Project Management Approach To PCI
ComplianceProject management is broad, and each type of project will determine the specific steps that need to be taken for compliance. In the case of PCI DSS, a project management approach should include the following steps.
1. Include All Parts Of The Organization
When it comes to PCI, all IT activities need to be in unison. Segmented operations will make compliance much harder to achieve. This is why you should include all departments within your organization and establish a common compliance objective.
With ground rules in place, you’ll have an easier time optimizing company operations towards your specific level of compliance.
2. Consider Your Vendors
The next step is to ensure that your vendors have updated systems that fall in line with your level of PCI compliance. Only work with vendors that take compliance seriously and have optimized their systems to fall in line with your current standards.
3. Have a Project Manager to Coordinate All Activities
PCI compliance can easily become hectic. This is why you need a single person who will coordinate all activities and ensure that everyone is on the same page. The project manager will also make decisions regarding resource allocation, risk management, PCI requirements, and exceptions.
4. Establish A Security Team
Because PCI DSS is primarily a data security model, it touches on multiple parts of security standards. For example, PCI involves networks, software, database management, and key security infrastructure. This is why you need a robust security team in place to oversee all separate data security elements. You may outsource or provide the security personnel yourself, as long as they’re familiar with your compliance framework and ready to implement appropriate procedures.
5. Have A RACI Document In Pace
Responsible, Accountable, Consult, and Inform. These are the steps you should have in place for all your documentation for PCI compliance. As opposed to general organization charts, RACI documents make resource allocation, responsibilities, and roles much easier to assign.