Glossary of Compliance

Compliance Glossary

Our list of curated compliance glossary offers everything you to know about compliance in one place.

Glossary » PCI DSS » PCI QSA


The PCI Security Standards Council has a program called Qualified Security Assessors (QSAs) for security companies. QSAs need to get certified and re-certified each year. The founders of the Council trust QSAs certified by them with the task of auditing companies to ensure adherence to the PCI DSS standard.

PCI Security Standards Council has set strict rules for those who wish to become a QSA. It involves the company in context and its employees. It takes about three months from applying to being listed as a QSA on their website.

Here are few key requirements to become a QSA

  • Apply as a company
  • Follow the Qualification Requirements for Qualified Security Assessors (QSA) v. 4.1
  • Train and test your employees for assessments
  • Make an agreement with the Council

Who needs a PCI QSA anyway?

Any company that processes credit or debit card payments must either do an annual Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ) or get assessed by a QSA to stay PCI DSS compliant. Level 1 merchants or those with a significant data breach must use a QSA. But some smaller merchants (Level 2, 3, or 4) may use a QSA to ensure compliance.

Choosing between doing an SAQ yourself or using a QSA is important. A QSA can add credibility to your report, help you stay compliant, improve security, and give tailored advice for your business’s challenges. So, even if it’s not required, using a QSA can be a good idea to safeguard your business.

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