Pci-level-1PCI DSS Level One #1 Certificate

Requirement and Process


What is PCI DSS?

PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) is a set of rules that ensure online credit card transactions are protected & safe from hackers. These rules apply to every business that processes, stores, or transmits credit card information over the internet. It was developed in 2004 by a group of payment card issuers (American Express, Visa, Discover, JCB, and MasterCard) to reduce risks related to Payment card fraud and hacking.


  • PCI DSS Compliance means you implemented the best practices in your work environment to keep your systems off the security breaches.
  • PCI DSS Certificate means that your systems are secured & protected. Your customers can trust you to enter their credit cards on your platform.
  • PCI Compliance Seal improves your reputation which leads to buyers’ trust.


PCI DSS Compliance for Level 1 Merchants:

It is the highest and most stringent level of PCI DSS. To be eligible to level one PCI DSS, you may consider the following criteria:

PCI DSS Level #1 Criteria:

  • The number of card transactions is (VISA Transactions >6 million, or > 2.5 million American Express, or >1 million JCB) per year.
  • OR you store/process cardholder's sensitive data in your systems.
  • OR your firm experienced a cyber attack that led to access to the cardholder's sensitive data.


PCI DSS Level #1 Requirements:

The PCI DSS requirements aim to enhance the security of payment card account data. It represents the key steps to following the security best practices.


PCI DSS Requirements

Build and Maintain Secure Networks and Systems

1. Install and maintain a firewall configuration to protect cardholder’s data.

2. Do not use vendor-supplied defaults for system passwords and other security parameters.

Protect Cardholder’s Data

3. Protect stored cardholder’s data.

4. Encrypt transmission of cardholder’s data across open, public networks.

Maintain a Vulnerability Management Program

5. Protect all systems against malware and regularly update anti-virus software or programs.

6. Develop and maintain secure systems and applications.

Implement Strong Access Control Measures

7. Restrict access to cardholder’s data by business needs.

8. Identify and authenticate access to the system’s components.

9. Restrict physical access to cardholder’s data..

Regularly Monitor and Test Networks

10. Track and monitor all access to network resources and cardholder’s data.

11. Regularly test systems and processes of security.

Maintain an Information Security Policy

12. Maintain a policy that addresses information security for all personnel.


PCI DSS Process?

First, you need to choose one of the PCI-Approved Qualified Security Assessor (QSA) companies to conduct the audit and provide the RoC by the end of the process which is considered the PCI DSS compliance proof certificate.
Next, you will need to conduct the following types of scans as per the QSA requests:


Scan Types required for PCI DSS Level #1 merchants



Vulnerability Scan

It is a high-level automated test that finds and reports potential vulnerabilities. All external IP addresses and domains displayed in the Cardholder’s Data Environment (CDE) must be scanned by a PCI- Approved Scanning Vendor (ASV) at least once every three months.

Penetration Test

Penetration testing is a type of ethical hacking, where certified professionals simulate threat agent technologies in near-real scenarios, intending to identify configuration vulnerabilities in all of your organization's systems, applications, and networks.
The goal of the pentest is to discover your organization's cyber defense weaknesses in all its areas, giving you an early warning to address them before any third-party hack. Required once a year.


External Scan

It is the process of scanning external vulnerabilities, ports, and services on a public access network, looking for vulnerabilities that a hacker is looking to exploit.
After the scan, a scan report will be generated containing vulnerabilities that must be resolved to become compliant, and more secure.


Internal Scan

These are processes in which internal vulnerabilities are scanned from a site that has access to the internal network being scanned. It shows vulnerabilities at a greater depth and this enables us to see more network services vulnerabilities compared to external scanning.



One benefit of regularly doing this scan is that you take a proactive approach to protect your network from known vulnerabilities.
The internal examination also provides insights into the patch management process making sure there are no third-party patches or known vulnerabilities such as DROWN, EternalBlue, or Heartbleed.


How Daam Al-Arabia can help you?

Our security experts at Daam Al-Arabia can help you select the right QSA, ASV, and penetration test firms for your business and get your PCI DSS certificate in Saudi Arabia as quickly as possible.

We also offer robust, cost-effective, PCI DSS approved solutions:

  •  Conducting security assessments.
  •  Vulnerabilities, external, and internal scans.
  •  Penetration tests.


Our wide range of services will not only help you prepare for PCI DSS compliance but will improve the overall security of your organization.


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