PCI DSS Penetration Testing Services

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What is PCI DSS Penetration Testing Services?

PCI DSS penetration testing is compulsory for financial organisations processing card transactions

Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) It is a standard created by the payment industry for validating a set of requirements for businesses that deal with credit card information. This penetration test is a cyber security assessment that experts use to exploit vulnerabilities in infrastructure. It entails simulating attacks to gain unauthorised access to the systems. This testing helps organisations protect the security and integrity of cardholders from cyber attacks.

The cyber security experts undertaking this penetration testing are also called "ethical hackers". PCI DSS penetration testing searches for hidden security issues that automatic security scanning cannot expose and exploits these vulnerabilities to gain unauthorised access to the system.

There are requirements that organisations using payment devices must strictly adhere to regularly. These PCI DSS requirements include:

  • Protection of cardholder's data
  • Building and maintaining a secure network
  • Maintaining a vulnerability management program
  • Maintaining an information security policy
  • Implementing strong access control measures
  • Regular monitoring and testing of networks.

What is Managed Network Detection and Response?

The PCI DSS penetration test also includes assessing external and internal network infrastructures and applications.

There are three types of PCI DSS penetration testing:


White-box assessments
The organisation provides application and network details for the penetration testing.

Black-box assessments
The organisation offers no information for the testing.

Grey-box assessments
The organisation provides limited details on the targeted security systems.

Mindfire offers penetration testing to all infrastructural and security components, including mobile and web application systems. We also provide cloud security and vulnerability assessments.

Why you need PCI DSS Penetration Testing Services?

It is vital to carry out this penetration test regularly because it offers adequate security analysis of real-world threats.

Networks and systems in organisations are built and maintained by staff who are not cyber security experts; this is why the penetration test is required to simulate an attack and exploit vulnerabilities before an attacker does.

PCI DSS penetration testing exposes the following:

  • Coding vulnerabilities
  • Wrong access controls and network configuration
  • Improper certification and session management
  • Encryption flaws.
PCI DSS Penetration Testing Services

When do you need PCI DSS Penetration Testing Services?

The PCI DSS penetration test frequency depends on the organisation's size and the test's scale.

Penetration testing should be carried out annually for vendors that store and transmit payment card data. The testing can be quarterly for merchants using a third party to store and share payment data on their behalf.

However, some factors affect the test frequency in organisations; these include:

  • Significant upgrades of network and system infrastructures
  • Addition of a web server to the environment,
  • Installation of security updates.

Methodology behind PCI DSS penetration testing

PCI DSS penetration testing involves the proactive security identification system. These steps include:


This is the first step in the PCI DSS penetration testing. It involves defining the test's scope and identifying the organisation's PCI DSS compliance assessment requirements. Scoping determines the rules and limitations before the actual penetration testing.


This second step involves information gathering about the target systems and networks. This discovery step in the PCI DSS penetration testing also recognises all the hosts in the target network. The information gathered will be used to identify potential attack vectors.


This step involves exploiting the vulnerabilities of the systems to gain unauthorised entry. It can be a DoS attack, phishing, buffer overflow and SQL injections.


This is the comprehensive evaluation of the test results. It highlights detailed information about the system's vulnerabilities, potential impacts and suggestions to resolve them.


This entails ensuring all the identified security issues are fixed.

Types of PCI DSS Penetration Testing

There are different forms of PCI DSS penetration testing; these include:

PCI DSS application penetration test

The application penetration test detects vulnerabilities caused by unsafe development or coding practices. It resolves the vulnerabilities and ensures no unauthorised access to sensitive data.

PCI DSS wireless network penetration test

This test detects vulnerabilities around the weak security protocols of wireless technologies. Wireless network penetration testing eliminates these fraudulent access points using stronger passwords and updates the security protocols to global standards.

PCI DSS network penetration testing

This test can identify security flaws like misconfigured software, outdated software and operating systems, firewalls and insecure protocols. The software becomes reconfigured, and obsolete software and operating systems are upgraded or replaced.

Social engineering penetration testing

This test evaluates people and processes and their possibilities of bringing security risks to the organisation. The pentesting seeks to identify employees not adhering to safe security practices using social engineering methods like impersonation and phishing.

PCI DSS segmentation checks

This segmentation check tests whether the rules isolating high-security networks from the less secure ones are valid and appropriate. This check protects sensitive data from breaches and malware.

What to consider before PCI DSS penetration testing

While numerous companies offer pentesting services, it is crucial to identify the best options.

It means a diligent search for a tested and trusted penetration testing partner with proven experience in several heavily regulated industries.

Mindfire, a crest-accredited, tested and trusted provider of penetration services, offers a wide range of pentesting, which is why you should consider some of these criteria before your subsequent PCI DSS penetration testing.

These criteria include:

It is essential to research past projects, past and current clients, and reviews before choosing your next penetration testing partner.

It is essential to engage a company like Mindfire, as we pride ourselves on being one of the best in the industry in proactively identifying security gaps and remediating them.

Service Legal Agreement (SLA)
It is vital to have a comprehensive agreement that takes care of the testing methodologies, deliverables, and limitations of penetration testing.

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If you are looking for reliable and efficient solutions to enhance your business operations, Mindfire is the perfect partner for you. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you achieve your goals. Whether you need Cyber Security Services, Managed Security Services (MSS), Consulting Services, Cyber Risk Management Services, Cloud Services, Digital Services, or Digital Transformation, our team of experts is here to assist you every step of the way. Don't hesitate to get in touch with us and take your business to the next level with Mindfire.