The PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) announced new changes to the PCI Qualified Integrators and Resellers (QIR) Program in response to industry feedback and data breach report findings. The program changes are designed to increase the number of QIRs and equip them to help merchants reduce risk by mitigating the leading causes of payment data breaches.
PCI SSC QIR program
The PCI SSC QIR program offers specialized data security training and certification to individuals that install, configure and/or support payment systems. PCI SSC maintains a listing of PCI QIRs on its website for merchants to use in identifying and selecting trusted partners.
Since the program was established in 2012, breach reports highlight that smaller merchants are increasingly under attack, and that the majority of merchant payment data breaches could be prevented by addressing three critical issues: insecure remote access, weak password practices and outdated and unpatched software.
“Based on industry feedback and data breach reports, we are evolving the QIR program to make it more accessible to integrators and resellers and to address the specific risk areas that are leading to the majority of merchant payment data breaches,” said PCI SSC Chief Operating Officer Mauro Lance. “The changes are designed to increase the number of trained integrators and resellers available to merchants, and to ensure that these integrators and resellers are trained specifically on how to thwart the three most common causes of data breaches.”
The updated QIR program will introduce new training course content on how to address insecure remote access, weak password practices and outdated and unpatched software during payment system installation. Additional changes are designed to make it easier for smaller integrators and resellers to become QIRs in order to increase the program’s reach to small businesses. These include reducing the cost of the program to $100 USD per person, making the QIR certification an individual certification, rather than a company one, and simplifying the QIR implementation statement.
“We are very pleased with the changes that the PCI SSC is making to the QIR program. The revised program will lead to more integrators and resellers being able to help merchants significantly reduce their payment security risk,” said John Kirk President and CEO of the Retail Solutions Providers Association (RSPA). “So many breaches are caused by entirely preventable attacks. With greater access to training, the PCI SSC is empowering smaller integrators and resellers to join the program which will greatly benefit the merchant community. We applaud the PCI SSC for listening to our industry and acting on our feedback.”