Regulatory Compliance, Governance and Security

Dec 31 2008   11:25PM GMT

SAS 70 Audits and PCI DSS Compliance |What you NEED to Know



As an auditor, I am constantly approached by my clients desperately wanting to know if efficiencies can be obtained within the audit and assessment process for companies undergoing both a SAS70 audit and a PCI DSS assessment. There’s no simple yes or no, black or white answer to this, as many variables come into play when conducting a SAS70 audit or a PCI DSS assessment for organizations.

What I can tell you though is that there are some common themes and drivers seen in both a SAS70 audit and a PCI DSS assessment. Both a SAS70 audit and a PCI DSS assessment rely heavily on the existence of documented policies & procedures. Furthermore, both of these examinations also examine various aspects of physical security, network security, logical security, change management, to name a few. Quickly, you can see some overlapping themes in both a SAS70 audit and a PCI DSS assessment. So, that’s the YES answer to “audit efficiencies can be obtained” when a company has to undertake a SAS70 audit and a PCI DSS assessment. So, what’s the NO or the gray erea? Keep in mind that the PCI DSS assessment is a very technical examination, much more so than a SAS70 audit. At the same time, a SAS70 audit also covers comprehensive business process controls applicable to that specific entity being examined for a SAS70. A PCI DSS assessment does generally not cover or assess these specific business processes that a SAS70 would. Thus, you can see the gaps between these two examinations.

To learn more about what SAS70 is, visit the official SAS70 Resource Guide

To learn about Payment Card Industry (PCI) DSS compliance, visit the official PCI Resource Guide.

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