If your organization is subject to multiple certifications, I’d bet that your organization is using multiple compliance management tools across those certifications. Maybe as many as four or five different tools.

If you’re using multiple tools for compliance, you’re doing it wrong — and it’s one of the reasons compliance management sucks at your organization.

Many compliance management systems only handle a handful of specific certs — PCI-DSS or HIPAA or SOC 2 or ISO 27001. If that’s been your experience in the past, you might not realize that TCT Portal is different. Our software handles many standards.

TCT Portal is the compliance management platform that can manage virtually every compliance standard in existence. As of today, TCT Portal offers more than 100 certification tracks — and the list is continuously expanding. If it doesn’t already manage a certification you fall subject to, we can rectify that, and do so at no cost to you (for active clients, provided we’re allowed to load the content).

We didn’t choose our name by mistake — we’re Total Compliance Tracking.

This guide will give you the basics of PCI and help you figure out how to make your certification journey as simple as possible.

You Have Too Many Compliance Management Tools

It’s easy to start taking on more compliance tools than you should. You need to achieve certification under one standard, so you find a software that specializes in that standard. Then, before you know it, you have another cert to comply with, so you have to find another tool. And so on.

Or, you have multiple Assessors, each with their own favorite tool (probably their own).

Every time you throw a new tool into the mix, you don’t notice the incremental layers of inefficiency. Worse yet, many say this is the way they’ve always done compliance — and come compliance time nobody questions what they’re doing. They just do things the way they were done last time. You don’t think to question it.

I have always held the notion that if you’re the one going through compliance, you should make the process as efficient as you can for yourself — not for the firms you hire. Assessors and Consultants are there to serve you, not the reverse. If you can reduce your compliance tools to one product, do it!

If you need a referral to a kick-ass Consulting group or Assessor of your dreams, let us know. We’re always happy to help those in the compliance space — heck that’s why we’re here.

The Problems with Using Multiple Tools

It’s not fun to use multiple tools to accomplish one task, but the pain goes beyond mere annoyance. When you’re wedded to various platforms for compliance management, you’re embedding several problems into the health of your organization.

Here’s a few of the big offenders.

Sluggish productivity

It’s extremely difficult to manage everything when you’re using different tools for different certs. If you’re going up against four different certifications, you don’t have one place to look for information, you have four different places. That multiplies your time and pain every time you need to find a file, make an update, or collect the current status.

I’ve seen organizations that have certification number one in April. Certifications 2 and 3 are in June, and certification 4 is in October. If you’re managing multiple certifications in multiple tools at multiple times, you’re pulling the same evidence multiple times. The same evidence has to get into all four of your tools, and usually it’s done manually. That’s a lot of redundant work and effort.

Unending training time and costs

Every compliance tool has its own way of managing a compliance engagement, so your people need training on each system you use. Training for a single compliance system can be a chore — but training for multiple tools could be construed as a creative method of torture.

Every time you have a new employee to train, you have to train them on all of your compliance systems. The more systems you have, the more likely your people will need retraining simply due to the confusion created by using different tools.

That creates a drain on your trainers, your trainees’ time, and your operational costs.

Unreasonable costs

The mere cost of purchasing multiple compliance platforms should make any CFO raise their eyebrows. Let’s be honest: it’s pretty hard to justify multiple purchases of the same type of product to do the same type of job within the same organization.

Think of it this way:

  • You don’t use multiple CRMs for different sales funnels.
  • You don’t use a separate HR system for each department.
  • You don’t have multiple accounting tools for various financial functions.

Why would you use multiple systems to manage multiple compliance certifications?

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Consolidate Everything into One System at One Time

Thankfully, TCT Portal makes it easy to manage multiple compliance engagements all within the same tool. You’ll drastically cut down on time, frustration, and cost — with tangible results in the first quarter you use it.

Let’s take a look at three significant ways TCT Portal streamlines multiple compliance engagements.

Do multiple certifications at the same time

Evaluate the timing of your certifications so that your most prescriptive certification concludes first, with your less prescriptive certifications following in close succession. This way, the timeliness of the data collection from your prescriptive certification means the data isn’t stale for the secondary certifications.

This will also require some coordination across your Assessors to make sure everyone is on board with the new timing, what will be received when, and in what order. It takes some legwork up front, but the long term positive implications to your sanity cannot be understated.

Mapping certifications

Most certifications share a lot of the same requirements — especially if you have a highly prescriptive standard like PCI-DSS. The controls in PCI can be directly mapped to secondary certifications.

In other words, when you achieve PCI compliance, you’re also well on your way to achieving your other certifications. That presents a tremendous opportunity, and TCT Portal is built to take advantage of it.

TCT Portal lets you map certifications to each other. So, when you upload evidence to PCI-DSS (for example), the system automatically applies that evidence to every other cert that has the same requirement. By the time you’re done with PCI, you only have a few requirements in each of your remaining certifications.

Imagine the reduction in time and frustration!

Streamlining Assessors

What if you have a different Assessor for each certification, and each of your Assessors has their own system they want you to use? That’s a TON of work, because you’re duplicating your efforts multiple times over for each Assessor.

Because TCT Portal is flexible enough for any industry certification, it’s also flexible enough to create a custom certification (a.k.a. document request list) that you can use to eliminate duplicate efforts. Here’s how it works.

Each Assessor has a list of items they need from you. Most of those items appear on other Assessors’ lists as well. TCT Portal lets you create a single custom certification and use that as your collection mechanism. This gives you one master list of everything you need to provide to Assessors.

From there, you can map it off to your Assessor’s particular certification track and automatically connect the right evidence and explanations to the items that map to their Assessment(s).

You work exclusively in TCT Portal, in one streamlined system, but you satisfy the unique needs of each Assessor, with substantially less effort.

Can TCT Portal Provide the Performance You Need?

How can TCT Portal be a high-caliber compliance management tool if it purports to handle every form of industry standard? Wouldn’t you get better performance from software that specializes in just one or two standards?

We spent years thoughtfully designing the architecture of TCT Portal, from the very beginning, so that it could effectively manage any type of compliance certification. Our team drew on deep experience in security and compliance as well as software design and development.

While the content of one certification may be much different from another, the handling of each standard, systematically, is fundamentally identical. That foundation makes TCT Portal highly effective for every team, achieving any combination of compliance certifications.

Find out for yourself how TCT Portal can make your life easier — get a personalized demo!

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