If your organization accepts, processes, or transmits payment card data, then you have to get and stay PCI DSS compliant to build trust with your customers and avoid fines. 

Some organizations spend hundreds of hours manually collecting evidence, creating and updating policies, and managing vendor risk to achieve and maintain PCI compliance — but they don’t have to spend these countless hours achieving compliance.

Automation can reduce the time, effort, and money needed to achieve compliance by making the process more efficient. 

How Long Does PCI DSS Compliance Take Without Automation?

Without a compliance automation platform, getting PCI DSS compliant requires a significant amount of manual work and time.

While the exact timeline depends on factors like the size of the organization and the scope of your PCI DSS environment, there are several steps every organization must take. These include but are not limited to:

  • Scoping your cardholder data environment
  • Establishing and maintaining PCI cardholder data security policies
  • Collecting evidence to provide to auditors for PCI’s 300+ requirements
  • Completing risk assessments
  • Training employees on PCI cardholder data security training and secure coding best practices

It’s estimated that completing these readiness initiatives can take up to a year to complete. This does not include the time it would take to maintain compliance throughout the year either. 

How Much Does PCI DSS Compliance Cost Without Automation?

Like the compliance timeline, PCI compliance costs vary depending on a wide range of factors, including:

  • The size and business type of your organization
  • The service in scope and your segmentation effort
  • The scope and complexity of your cardholder data environment
  • The requirements of your customers and acquiring bank

On average, between the audit, introducing new tools, and additional services, organizations can expect to spend between $20K to more than $200K per year to achieve and stay compliant with PCI DSS. 

The high costs of achieving and maintaining PCI DSS compliance are essentially due to the fact that organizations must either purchase multiple security tools to properly implement PCI requirements, dedicate an existing team to the PCI effort or hire security compliance personnel to assist, or hire a third-party consultant or firm to help design, implement, and monitor PCI requirements on a continuous basis.

A third-party consultant or firm with PCI DSS expertise can help conduct a gap analysis, create a remediation plan, and assess your organization controls to help you prepare for PCI DSS compliance — but at significantly high costs. On average, companies can expect to pay a consulting firm at least $10,000 for gap assessments, $15-25,000 for an assisted SAQ assessment, and $20,000 for a RoC if they are a QSA firm. 

How Automation Can Fast-Track PCI DSS Compliance

Secureframe’s compliance automation platform streamlines the compliance process. We save teams hundreds of hours and tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars spent by providing security policies, automatically collecting evidence, offering PCI DSS expertise and support, and providing you a readiness assessment by showing you passing and failing tests related to all 12 PCI DSS requirements.

Secureframe automates as much of the testing as possible from beginning to end, helping you achieve PCI DSS compliance faster and saving you money — but the benefits of compliance automation go beyond time savings.

In a survey conducted by UserEvidence, Secureframe users reported a range of benefits, including:

  • 97% strengthened their security and compliance posture 
  • 95% saved time and resources obtaining and maintaining compliance
  • 89% sped up time-to-compliance for multiple frameworks 
  • 85% unlocked annual cost savings
  • 71% improved visibility into security and compliance posture

Let's take a closer look at these benefits of Secureframe's compliance automation solution below.

Strengthens your security and compliance posture

With Secureframe, you understand exactly what you need to do to meet PCI DSS requirements. You can also assign tasks to individuals on your team responsible for specific tests throughout your preparation and track your progress towards being audit-ready utilizing the Secureframe dashboard. You’ll always have a real-time view of what tests are currently passing and exactly what you can do to pass failing tests before inviting your auditor into the Secureframe platform.

You can also leverage our team of in-house compliance experts, which has decades of audit advisory and consulting experience. Our team will understand your company’s specific audit requirements, and help provide tailored guidance based on Secureframe test results, and guide you through your compliance process.

Saves time and resources

If your organization relies on a manual approach to compliance, you’ll need to:

  • Collect screenshots and documentation for evidence over and over for each PCI DSS audit
  • Track dozens of tasks in spreadsheets, some of which need to be performed annually, quarterly, or on another recurring basis to maintain compliance
  • Complete thorough risk assessments and gap analyses regularly as your business grows and industry standards evolve
  • Create a risk register and asset inventory in spreadsheets and keep those up-to-date
  • Write PCI DSS policies from scratch and ensure they stay updated and that employees review them as they onboard and at least annually after that
  • Monitor your controls and infrastructure to identify any issues and remediate them as quickly as possible

As your organization spends more resources on repetitive manual tasks like these, the complexity and costs of a security compliance program rise sharply. Secureframe automates these manual tasks, reducing the time and resources it takes for your organization to achieve and maintain PCI DSS compliance.

Speeds up time-to-compliance for multiple frameworks

As your compliance program expands beyond PCI DSS, Secureframe can help reduce the time and effort required to comply with multiple frameworks. Secureframe automatically maps the control set and underlying tests of the PCI DSS framework to the requirements of another framework. By doing so, organizations don’t have to waste valuable time and resources creating independent sets of controls, performing redundant tests, gathering the same evidence, and repeating other activities to comply with multiple frameworks that have common controls.

That means, if you add a new framework to your Secureframe instance, you will automatically see where you stand with that framework and how it overlaps with PCI DSS. Due to such common overlap across frameworks, existing Secureframe customers adding new frameworks never start at 0% when adding a new framework to their instance. 

Unlocks cost savings

Compliance is an extremely cross-functional practice, where the assets under scope span multiple teams, including engineering, security, compliance, leadership, risk, IT, and HR. As a result, many compliance activities are performed by various teams that actually own the assets in question. This is why typical compliance automation software has focused on automating workflow aspects around cross-functional collaboration, such as ticket lifecycle management, cross-functional control ownership, alerting, and reporting.

However, Secureframe acts as an all-in-one solution and removes the need for many of these compliance activities to be human exercises at all. By reducing the amount of manual work that teams need to perform, Secureframe drastically lowers workflow and collaboration requirements, which leads to massive cost savings across the entire compliance function.

Improves visibility into your security and compliance posture

From your cloud infrastructure to your ticketing systems and background check provider, we continuously scan these tools and compare the configurations to compliance requirements, monitoring your tech stack to help you understand exactly what is required to stay compliant throughout the year.

This automated continuous monitoring, combined with deep integrations and dashboards, provides your organization to with a holistic view of your compliance management program so you can see how your PCI DSS controls are performing over time and if there are any non-conformities or compliance issues across your tech stack.

Thousands of companies trust Secureframe to streamline PCI compliance. If you’re ready to get started, schedule a demo with one of our product experts.