How Much Does PCI Compliance Cost?

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Calculating how much it will cost to become compliant with PCI-DSS requirements

Many organizations view compliance as a binary, you’re either compliant or you’re not. But that’s not necessarily how all compliance frameworks work. Many, like HIPAA and PCI DSS, view compliance in terms of degrees – focusing on how compliant (or not compliant) an organization is rather than looking at it like a yes/no question. So how much PCI compliance costs will vary depending on your organization and which level you’re aiming for.

The levels of PCI compliance

Specifically, there are four levels of PCI compliance that vary based on how many payments you process each year. Some organizations can be considered more PCI compliant than others, while both maintain good standing. That one detail makes answering a question like “how much does PCI compliance cost?” a lot more challenging.

The simplest answer to your question (“How much does PCI compliance cost?”) is: it varies by organization. But that’s not very helpful, so let’s dig in…

PCI compliance costs to enhance data security

Let’s start with some of the unseen costs. PCI compliance, at the end of the day, is about data security. Data security rolls up under cyber security. And cyber security is cultural. It’s no secret that an organization’s own employees are also its greatest threat – that’s why so many cybersecurity professionals preach employee education and that cyber security must be ingrained into your organization’s culture.

There’s a cost to achieving that, part of it is the actual education aspect, but you also need to build out programs that can penalize employees for bad cyber security choices, can document any and all cybersecurity and data privacy issues, and can continue to keep your organization agile and ahead of curve.

That’s not a one-time cost, that’s a continued expense. It’s an investment for sure, but it still bears a residual price tag.

Then there are the actual cyber security measures. PCI DSS does more to clarify what security measures should be in place than other regulations, but still leaves some measures purposely opaque to allow for some innovation. You know you’re going to need to implement:

  • Encryption
    • At-rest (eg database encryption)
    • In-transit (eg SSL certificates/HTTPS)
  • Access Control
  • Permissions
  • Internal and External Scanning

You’ll likely need additional measures like antivirus programs and all the obvious tools, but at a high-level you’ll need to have two encryption solutions, the ability to control who can access what and from where, plus you’ll need an approved scanning vendor to handle your scanning.

Once again, your mileage may vary. The enterprise is going to need to spend a lot more on those things than a small single proprietorship – so, there’s really no way to estimate what those costs might be without knowing more about your organization.

PCI compliance costs: how much does PCI approved scanning cost?

Here’s one thing we can say about how much it costs to become PCI compliant though: the scanning part is a fix cost, and it’s not expensive.

Comodo CA/Sectigo is already one of the most trusted names in PKI and cybersecurity in general, but did you know it was one of the very first approved scanning vendors on the PCI list? There are now 97, some offering scanning services for as high a $5,000 per domain.

We sell Comodo’s for just $81.90, reduced from $250 MSRP. You can’t beat that!

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So, how much does PCI compliance cost? If you’ve already implemented cybersecurity basics, you can become PCI compliant with an inexpsive vulnerability scan from Sectigo!