Skip to content

Free vs. Paid PCI Training: Which Is Best For Your Organization?

Free vs. Paid PCI Training: Which Is Best For Your Organization?

Published on

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a set of security standards created to ensure that businesses handling credit card transactions maintain a secure environment. Organizations must train their employees on PCI DSS requirements to meet these standards. 

This article will compare the free vs. paid PCI training and help you determine which is best for your organization. 


Free PCI Training 

Free PCI training courses are readily available online. These courses are an excellent option for organizations with limited budgets or employees needing to complete the training quickly. Free courses typically cover the basics of PCI DSS, including the 12 requirements, but may not be as comprehensive as paid courses. 

Some examples of free PCI training include: 

  • PCI Security Standards Council: The PCI Security Standards Council provides various free online training resources, including webinars, videos, and eLearning courses. These resources cover multiple topics, including PCI DSS, PA-DSS (Payment Application Data Security Standard), and PTS (PIN Transaction Security) requirements. 
  • Udemy: Udemy offers a free online course called "PCI DSS: The Ultimate Guide" that introduces PCI DSS compliance. The course covers the essential requirements of PCI DSS and provides tips for achieving compliance. 

One disadvantage of free courses is that they may not be updated regularly. This means the content may not reflect the latest changes to the PCI DSS standard.  

Another potential issue with free courses is that the quality may vary. For example, some free courses may be poorly designed or not provide enough information for employees to understand the requirements fully. 


Paid PCI Training 

Paid PCI training courses typically offer more comprehensive training than free courses. They are designed to ensure that employees understand the requirements of the PCI DSS standard thoroughly. These courses may offer more in-depth information, case studies, and interactive exercises to help employees apply their knowledge to real-world situations. Experienced instructors often teach paid courses and may offer certification upon completion. 

Some examples of free PCI training include: 

  • PCI Security Standards Council: The PCI Security Standards Council offers a variety of online training courses for a fee that cover different levels of PCI compliance and are designed for different roles within an organization. 
  • Security Journey: Security Journey provides a range of security training and education programs, including PCI training to meet the requirement of training developers to code securely, with new content added every month and valuable features like completion certifications, customizable programs, and hands-on content. 

One potential disadvantage of paid courses is that they can be expensive. Organizations with limited budgets may not be able to afford the cost of training for all their employees.  

Additionally, some paid courses may be too advanced for some employees, making it challenging for them to understand the requirements fully. 


Cost Of PCI Training 

The cost of PCI training can vary depending on a variety of factors, such as the location, training provider, level of certification, and mode of delivery (in-person, online, or self-paced). 

The cost of PCI training can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. For example, the price of a PCI DSS (Data Security Standard) training course can be between $500 to $2,000 for a one- or two-day course; meanwhile, Security Journey offers a variety of terms to match your organization's user needs. 


Is PCI Compliance Training Enough? 

Keep in mind that PCI DSS is a bare minimum standard to meet. While compliance can enhance the overall security of an organization, its defined purpose is to help companies protect their customers’ sensitive information. 

Treating PCI compliance as an annual check-the-box requirement poses a number of significant risks. Companies must be proactive in keeping their systems secure, offering ongoing PCI developer training, and treating PCI compliance as the starting point for overall data security. 

Considering the possible penalties associated with a data breach, going beyond PCI compliance, and ensuring the best cybersecurity practices are in place must be a top priority for any organization that deals with sensitive information. Simply meeting a minimum standard is not enough. The process of securing sensitive information involves both in-depth security and compliance. 

Read More: How To Go Beyond PCI Compliance 


Which Option Is Best for Your Organization? 

Choosing between free and paid PCI training depends on several factors, including your organization's budget, the number of employees who need training, and the complexity of your business operations. 

Free training may be a suitable option if you have a small organization and a limited budget. However, if you have a large organization and want to ensure that all employees thoroughly understand PCI DSS requirements, paid training may be the better choice. 

Another factor to consider is the complexity of your business operations. For example, suppose your organization handles a significant volume of credit card transactions. In that case, you may want to consider paid training to ensure that your employees understand the requirements deeply. 

Both free and paid PCI training options have their advantages and disadvantages. The best choice for your organization depends on your budget, the number of employees who need training, and the complexity of your business operations.  


Next Steps 

Regardless of your choice, providing PCI DSS training to your employees is critical to maintaining a secure environment for online transactions. 

Choosing the right PCI training program may be challenging, but remember that choosing Security Journey as your AppSec Education Platform will provide you with highly engaged teams and securely coded applications.