Recent Surveys Reveal Trends and Spending Habits for Retailers in PCI Compliance

September 06, 2011, Rick Dakin, CEO, Co-founder and Chief Security Strategist

Recently, Gartner Research released two separate research reports on retailer PCI DSS compliance progress, trends and strategies. These reports are based on a survey of 77 merchants of varying sizes and covers a wide range of topics, including compliance status, spending and the incidence of assessed fines and penalties.

Overall, the survey results show that the costs of PCI compliance efforts are coming down, and that merchants acknowledge that compliance efforts have made them more secure.

Gartner also makes some specific recommendations about:

  • Ways to reduce the PCI compliance burden
  • Working with Qualified Security Assessor firms
  • Completing Self Assessments

Both research reports are authored by Gartner’s SVP and PCI industry expert Avivah Litan, and can be purchased at

PCI Compliance Activity Shifts Downstream as Aggressive Enforcement Continues

Challenged U.S. Firms Seek Alternative PCI Compliance Solutions

Coalfire Systems is a PCI Security Standards Council-accredited Qualified Security Assessor company. As one of the most-commonly used PCI QSAs, Coalfire has guided thousands of merchants, processors, service providers and application developers in PCI compliance matters. Interestingly, Coalfire has long positioned itself on ‘independence’ – setting it apart from QSA firms that also sell and deliver security services.

Ms. Litan’s report specifically recommends that merchants hire only independent auditors. Quite simply, her guidance echoes the lessons learned in the financial sector: selling services and audits creates a conflict of interest.  Just ask Enron and Arthur Andersen & Co.

We agree, and we’ve built Coalfire with that in mind.  You can’t buy managed security services from us; instead, we are focused on providing only accurate, independent assessments and recommendations.

Rick Dakin


Rick Dakin — CEO, Co-founder and Chief Security Strategist

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