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PCI DSS Compliance in Saudi Arabia

What is PCI-DSS(Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard):

PCI DSS, the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, is a pivotal framework established by major credit card companies such as Visa, MasterCard, and American Express. Its primary objective is to fortify the security measures surrounding cardholder data, ensuring its protection during transactions. This standard comprises 12 comprehensive security requirements, covering aspects like network security, encryption, access control, and monitoring. Adherence to PCI DSS is mandatory for organizations handling payment card transactions, and it involves validation through self-assessment questionnaires for smaller merchants and on-site assessments by Qualified Security Assessors (QSAs) for larger businesses.

Compliance with PCI DSS is not merely a regulatory obligation, it’s a fundamental aspect of maintaining data security and fostering trust within the payment card industry. By complying with PCI DSS standards, organizations mitigate the risks associated with data breaches and unauthorized access to sensitive cardholder information. Moreover, adhering to these standards demonstrates a commitment to data security, instilling confidence among customers, partners, and stakeholders. Beyond legal requirements, PCI DSS compliance is an essential component of building a resilient and trustworthy payment ecosystem, safeguarding both business reputation and customer trust.

Distinguished PCI-DSS QSA Firm:

GRC360 stands as a distinguished Qualified Security Assessor (QSA), boasting over a decade of unwavering dedication and unparalleled expertise in the Saudi Arabian market. With a proven track record of serving a diverse clientele comprising banks, telcos, payment gateways, and fintech enterprises, we bring unmatched proficiency to the forefront of PCI-DSS compliance. 

PCI DSS Requirements

PCI DSS Standard consists of the 6 goals and 12 requirements that are mandatory in order to comply with the standard. The requirements set forth by the PCI SSC(Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council) are both operational and technical, and the core focus of these rules is always to protect cardholder data. In order to become PCI compliant, the business must meet the 12 PCI compliance requirements, which are split up into 300 sub-requirements. The following PCI compliance requirements include security systems, organizational processes, testing and policies that can help protect cardholder data.

PCI DSS Requirements


·      MADA, the Saudi Payments Network, plays a pivotal role in overseeing electronic payment systems across Saudi Arabia. As a
regulatory authority, MADA sets forth requirements to ensure the integrity and security of payment transactions within the country’s financial ecosystem.

·      Regarding PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) compliance, businesses operating in Saudi Arabia must adhere to MADA’s guidelines in addition to global PCI DSS standards. This entails implementing robust security measures to safeguard cardholder data, undergoing regular assessments, and maintaining ongoing compliance with security standards.

·      At GRC360, we understand the significance of meeting MADA’s requirements alongside PCI DSS standards. Our tailored solutions encompass comprehensive PCI DSS audits, strategic consultancy services, and expert guidance to navigate the intricacies of compliance.

·      Partnering with us ensures that your organization meets MADA’s regulatory expectations while aligning with global best practices in payment card security. Contact us today to learn how we can support your journey towards PCI DSS compliance in Saudi Arabia.

Our PCI DSS Experts team assists organizations not only to prevent payment data breaches and payment card fraud but also provide their professional services with respect to the PCI DSS compliance level of the organizations. However, same requirements don’t apply universally. In fact, there are four PCI compliance levels, which are determined by the number of transactions the organization handles each year. 

PCI DSS Compliance

SAMA CSF Clause and Its Applicability to Financial Companies Dealing with Card Data:

In Saudi Arabia’s financial landscape, the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority Cyber Security Framework (SAMA CSF) serves as a cornerstone for safeguarding sensitive information, particularly pertaining to cardholder data. SAMA CSF stands as a comprehensive set of guidelines and regulations established by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) to fortify cybersecurity practices within the financial sector. As the custodian of the nation’s monetary policies and financial stability, SAMA mandates that financial institutions operating within Saudi Arabia adhere strictly to these regulations to mitigate cyber threats effectively.

Within the ambit of SAMA CSF, specific clauses are dedicated to ensuring the secure handling and protection of cardholder data by financial entities. These clauses encompass a range of stringent requirements aimed at fortifying data protection measures, bolstering incident response capabilities, managing third-party risks, and instituting robust assessment and audit protocols. By complying with these clauses, financial companies dealing with card data can significantly reduce the risk of data breaches, safeguard customer trust, and uphold the integrity of the financial ecosystem.

PCI DSS Compliance for Payment Gateways in Saudi Arabia

In the realm of payment gateways operating in Saudi Arabia, adherence to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is paramount. PCI DSS serves as the gold standard for ensuring the security of cardholder data and is mandated for all entities involved in processing, transmitting, or storing payment card information. Payment gateways, as intermediaries facilitating transactions between merchants and financial institutions, bear a critical responsibility in upholding the highest standards of data security to protect sensitive cardholder information.

Achieving PCI DSS compliance entails a multifaceted approach involving the implementation of robust security controls, regular assessments, and adherence to international best practices. Payment gateways in Saudi Arabia must undergo rigorous scrutiny to ensure compliance with PCI DSS requirements, which encompass stringent measures for data encryption, access control, vulnerability management, and incident response. By attaining PCI DSS compliance, payment gateways demonstrate their commitment to data security, foster trust among customers, and fortify the resilience of the payment ecosystem in Saudi Arabia.

In the realm of financial institutions operating in Saudi Arabia, navigating the intricate landscape of SAMA CSF and PCI DSS compliance demands a strategic and reliable partner. GRC360 emerges as the premier ally for organizations seeking robust solutions tailored to their PCI-DSS audit and consultancy needs.

Tailored Services for PCI-DSS Compliance

Our comprehensive suite of services is meticulously crafted to address every facet of PCI-DSS compliance, offering a robust framework to financial institutions. From meticulous PCI-DSS audits to strategic consultancy services, GRC360 delivers unparalleled value through services such as Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing (VAPT), Approved Scanning Vendor (ASV) services, wireless and data discovery, and bespoke project management tailored specifically for PCI DSS compliance.

Empowering Financial Institutions

With GRC360 as their trusted ally, financial companies can navigate the complexities of SAMA CSF and PCI DSS compliance with confidence. Our unwavering commitment to excellence and security empowers organizations to bolster their defenses, mitigate risks, and safeguard the integrity of cardholder data in the dynamic landscape of the Saudi Arabian financial sector.




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