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The challenges of PCI compliance and how CCM can support organisations in their quest to comply


PCI DSS is a set of security standards designed to ensure the protection of cardholder data and is mandatory for organisations that handle payment card informationHowever, complying with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) can be a complex and challenging process and these challenges can vary depending on the size and nature of the organisation.

Typically these would include:

Complexity of Requirements: The PCI DSS consists of 12 high-level requirements, each with numerous sub-requirements and specific guidelines. Understanding and implementing these requirements can be complex and time-consuming.

Scope Determination: Defining the scope of cardholder data within the organisation is often the number one challenge that is faced. Identifying all the systems and processes that interact with payment card data can be a significant undertaking, particularly if there is potentially legacy tech forgotten and various disparate tools that hold pieces of data.

Variability in Requirements: Assessing compliance accurately is also challenging in the fact that different organisations may have different interpretations of PCI DSS requirements, leading to variations in compliance strategies.

Vendor Relationships: Many organisations rely on third-party vendors and service providers and need to ensure that these vendors are also compliant with PCI DSS. This adds another layer of complexity into an already arduous task of monitoring not only their own tech infrastructure but also that of third-party suppliers.

Ongoing Compliance: Maintaining compliance requires ongoing effort. Organisations struggle to continuously monitor and update their security controls, policies and procedures to stay compliant simply because they may not have the resource or the expertise.

Resource and Financial Constraints: Overstretched teams attempting to monitor many pieces of tech means it is difficult to maintain the necessary security controls; Couple that with the potential lack of in-house expertise required of a deep understanding of security best practises and the financial constraints of achieving and maintaining PCI compliance, in the current economical climate managing this is a minefield.

Evolving Threat Landscape: Cyber security threats and attack methods are constantly evolving. Staying ahead of new threats and vulnerabilities can be challenging and near-impossible, especially if they lack the necessary expertise and technology to help support compliance.

Documentation and Reporting: Properly documenting compliance efforts and maintaining records can be burdensome and time consuming. Detailed documentation is essential for audit purposes and proof of compliance.

Annual Assessments: PCI DSS requires annual security assessments which can be disruptive and time-consuming, again creating another layer of complexity and burden for an organisation to manage.

Geographic and Legal Challenges: Organisations operating in multiple countries or regions must navigate various regulatory requirements and legal frameworks related to data security and privacy. Also, creating a unified approach and being able to monitor in multiple geographical locations with different teams makes PCI compliance utterly cumbersome and challenging.

To address these challenges, organisations should:

  • Create a clear compliance strategy.
  • Allocate resources effectively.
  • Keep updated on the changes to the PCI DSS compliance.
  • Continually assess and improve security practices.

However, this is easier said than done given the complexity of many organisations.


How can Continuous Controls Monitoring support PCI compliance and alleviate these challenges?

Real-time Monitoring: CCM tools continuously monitor and analyse security controls in real-time. This real-time monitoring allows organisations to identify and respond to security incidents promptly, reducing the risk of data breaches.

Automated Alerts: Alerts can be generated when anomalies or potential security issues are detected. These alerts enable quick response and remediation of any non-compliant activities, helping to maintain a secure environment.

Configuration Management: PCI DSS mandates that organisations maintain a secure configuration for their systems and software. CCM tools can ensure that system configurations are in compliance with PCI requirements and alert administrators when any deviations are detected.

Asset Visibility: It is imperative for organisations to understand what assets/tech they have. CCM connects to any technology – hardware, software and data – creating a live asset repository so you can monitor your entire tech infrastructure.

Log Management: PCI DSS requires the secure storage and monitoring of logs. CCM systems can centralise log collection, perform log analysis and send alerts for any suspicious or non-compliant activities recorded, helping organisations maintain the required level of log monitoring.

Vulnerability Management: PCI DSS mandates regular vulnerability assessments and scanning. CCM tools can automate vulnerability scans and track remediation efforts. They can also provide real-time visibility into vulnerabilities and their potential impact on cardholder data security.

Access Control Monitoring: CCM solutions can monitor user access and authentication to critical systems and data. They can identify unauthorised access attempts, excessive failed login attempts and unusual user behaviour.

File Integrity Monitoring: Continuous file integrity monitoring can help organisations identify any unauthorised changes to critical system files and configurations, which is an important PCI DSS requirement.

Security Policy Enforcement: Policies and configurations can be consistently enforced across the whole business when CCM is implemented. This helps ensure that all systems and devices are configured in compliance with PCI DSS requirements.

Reporting and Documentation: CCM tools can generate detailed, customised reports and documentation that demonstrate ongoing compliance with PCI DSS. These reports can be valuable for audits and regulatory assessments.

Remediation Tracking: CCM systems often provide tools for tracking and managing the remediation of non-compliant issues, ensuring that identified vulnerabilities and control failures are addressed in a timely manner.

Maintaining PCI DSS compliance is challenging for those organisations that need to comply with this regulation, so continuous control monitoring is an exceedingly valuable tool for supporting this and helping remain compliant by real-time visibility into security controls, automating compliance checks and enabling rapid response to security incidents. Not only that, CCM can support an organisations overall security posture and reduction of risk.

Why not find out more here.



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Uttamkurmar Lakhani

Technical Analyst -

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Liam Flavin

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Ekaterina Kuzevanova

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Mohamed Mohamud

Front End Developer -

Juan Morales

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Luke Bakare

DevOps Engineer -

Rutvik Belapurkar

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Harman Singh Malhotra

Technical Analyst -

Jason Wilkes

Technical Lead -

Annie Greenfield

Marketing Executive -

Will Tonge

Head of Recruitment -

Will has spent the last 9-years embedded in Cyber Security working with global, household names and innovative start-ups.

Passionate about bringing people and technology together, Will has worked in various settings, helping build high-growth organisations across multiple sectors. During this time, he has built an extensive network with access to some of the best talent out there.

Outside of QO, his young daughter keeps him well on his toes!

Shaun Barnes

DevOps Team Lead

Mark Hudson

Non-Exec Director -

Mark works with SMEs and charities to develop strategies to help them grow and access development capital. He is a NED, charity trustee and mentor to a wide range of people. His plural career started in 2017 after 16 years at pwc as a Deals partner working with large corporates and PE houses; at pwc he also ran the Retail and Consumer practice and was Chairman of the pwc UK Supervisory Board. Prior to pwc he was an executive director at Welcome Break and Iceland Group, and a partner at Bain and Company. He trained as an engineer at Imperial College and has an MBA from INSEAD. 

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Eamon Flavin

Non-Exec Director -

Eamon is a highly regarded and massively respected technology career professional as well as serial entrepreneur. He has started, grown and successfully taken to market three technology business.

Genuinely expert in technology, Eamon has enjoyed long-term working relationships with many of the world’s top companies and organisations in finance, banking, government, manufacturing, engineering, technology and the charities sector.

He draws on unparalleled contacts and experience and provides advice, solutions and recommendations, as well as helping respond to emergencies. Eamon has grown in-house and client teams and has a gift for hiring great people.

Peter Martin

Non-Exec Director -

Peter has the ability to do what many fail to and that is to consistently bring together highly professional teams and build a business environment that is supportive, agile, professional and where everyone enjoys coming into the office.

Bringing a unique blend of business acumen and technical knowledge to the role of non-exec director, Peter has already demonstrated his ability to bring an exceptional flair for dealing with complex situations with a clear, considered approach.

Personally, Peter brings humility and a strong moral compass to the team. His disarming and self-deprecating approach wins everyone over.

Anwen Haynes

Head of Marketing -

Anwen has worked in B2B and B2C marketing for over 20 years. From transforming end-to-end customer journeys in retail with strategic customer-centric plans to target driven focused strategies for B2B sales. With extensive experience in digital marketing including SEO, as well as Brand development, she loves to develop a cohesive approach to brand image and communications to drive and develop the business proposition and perception.

Alice Walker

Head of Customer Success -

Alice has worked in the IT industry for 20 years. Starting in Procurement, she moved into Software Asset Management before transitioning into Customer Success Management. Working across a variety of roles for different industries as both a customer and a service provider has given her a great understanding of what makes a great service. She has always been passionate about building and maintaining great customer relationships and helping her customers achieve their goals.

Owain Rowley

Lead Developer -

Owain has spent nearly a decade building software solutions and products within the cyber security sphere for the likes of government entities, large telecommunication companies, banks and card transaction companies.

This level of experience allows him to swiftly identify business and security processes that can be streamlined with automation, increase the efficiency of existing processes, as well as generate insightful data visualisations and models for members of an organisation at each different level.

Ami Penolver

Head of HR & Legal -

Ami is a finance sector career professional, with many years’ experience working in financial services, both in London and throughout the UK. In addition to financial control, she looks after HR and legal for the company.

Being a mother of two also equips her with the basic skills required to manage a senior team of management and technology consultants.

Ami’s sense of balance and perspective is an essential ingredient of the Quod Orbis culture.

Alastair Dickson

Commercial Director -

Alastair has spent the last 20 years working in Cyber Security and Risk Management. He is a passionate believer that security solutions should enable a business to take advantage of all the benefits of the digital world, while not putting the organisation’s data or productivity at risk.

Alastair has developed high-performing teams in some of the industry’s most competitive markets and launched new innovative technologies to market.

Being a rugby coach, and also having four sons at home, means he has lots of experience in keeping a passionate team in order but always has time for some fun!

Gary Penolver


Gary has 15 years’ experience in senior technology roles, and has already been closely involved in starting and taking two technology companies to market.

Totally comfortable with a fast-moving, state-of-the-art technical landscape, he helps his clients maintain and improve security and compliance.

He has a reputation for delivering pragmatic and easy to maintain solutions – business owners and managers enjoy knowing that the security and compliance is well managed and automated, properly instrumented and reported at a competitive cost point.

Honest, open, unflappable and very social, Gary is trusted by many household-name organisations to protect their, and their client’s data.

Martin Greenfield


Martin is an experienced technology and organisational transformation specialist and an excellent, proven leader and communicator in mission-critical operations, particularly in security technology.

Over the past 20 years, multi-billion pound commercial organisations, including global banks, utilities and major investment funds have trusted Martin to transform their operations to meet financial, operational and compliance targets.

Martin optimises operations, managing and transforming operational teams of between 50 and 500 people, to deliver the highest levels of audit compliance, risk management and financial efficiency.

Often working with other major consultancies and suppliers for new global corporate owners or management teams, Martin will help integrate and streamline operations on a global basis.

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