I was wondering if the below question would be off-topic(?):

Considerations for Hiring a Security Consultant

Say I am opening my own company which processes/transmits/stores payment cards information. What should I look for when trying to hire a consultant to help my company become PCI-DSS compliant?

The follow up question would be:

What other International Security Standards should I be aware of?

1 Answer 1


I would say that yes, this question can be on-topic - IF it's worded carefully.

Obviously you dont want to be soliciting offers or recommendations - anyway SE specifically rejects product (or service) recommendations requests.
Also you don't want to give a platform for bias, on the other hand you do want sufficient context - "security consultant" can refer to numerous, very different types of people.

When it comes to product/service selection, it is a tricky path, but I think a really good, constructive question can be made.
As examples, see some of these questions that basically are asking HOW to select a product, similar to your question:

EDIT: Actually, I think your question might be a dupe: see if this one helps you... Getting a manual security code review done - What to watch out for?.

  • ♦ Good point. I did feel like walking on a tightrope with this question. Your answer makes it clearer now that I need to word it carefully. Thanks for the links; I shall spend some time considering it before (if at all) asking this question. Thanks again.
    – Lex
    Jun 6, 2013 at 13:06
  • @lex great. I do really like these types of questions IF you can pull it off, it is tricky. I feel they give incredible value. Specifically though, I would say to look around some more, I seem to remember some more questions on this that might give you an answer.
    – AviD Mod
    Jun 6, 2013 at 15:56
  • 1
    @Lex this might also help you: What should I ask a prospective security consultant?
    – AviD Mod
    Jun 7, 2013 at 7:52
  • ♦ That was very kind of you; @Jonh's answer was exactly what I was looking for: no need for another question, then. Thanks again.
    – Lex
    Jun 7, 2013 at 8:29

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