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Payment Application Qualified Security Assessor (PA-QSA) is a professional certification provided by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council in order to evaluate certain specific aspects of a payment processing environment. A payment application qualified security assessor can perform comparable assessment on payment software in order to ensure the products used are compliant to payment card industry standards. They can also provide invaluable guidance and recommendations for payment application vendors in order to prepare software for the marketplace.
The Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council provides training courses for individuals to certify themselves as Payment Application Qualified Security Assessors. The candidates are provided with coursework covering proper assessment methods and payment card industry data security standards. They are certified upon successful completion of the course and their affiliated organizations are listed on the council’s website of validated Payment Application Qualified Security Assessors. The successful candidates can then start providing professional assessment services to application developers and vendors.
A Payment Application Qualified Security Assessor helps in many ways with an application's development phase. First, they help in implementing best practices to make applications secure and also help in identifying and eliminating security vulnerabilities before any possible issues may arise. They also test the applications developed for security vulnerabilities, clearly documenting all findings and recommendations as needed. Another way they help the clients is by evaluating debuggers, packet sniffers and monitoring the utilities in the whole payment application.
A Payment Application Qualified Security Assessor is expected to be knowledgeable in: