Learning Express Helps Its Franchisees Brace for Hackers with ControlScan PCI Compliance Program


Analyze, remediate and validate PCI compliance.

Learning Express selected ControlScan as its preferred PCI compliance and security solutions provider.

ControlScan PCI compliance program helps Learning Express take a proactive and stronger stance on card data security.

ControlScan PCI compliance program for Learning ExpressThe ControlScan PCI compliance program makes it easy to analyze, remediate and validate PCI compliance. Hackers and identity thieves are part of the reality of doing business today; therefore, maintaining a strong security posture is a necessity of doing business as well.

Learning Express not only understands but embraces and supports this stance for more than 150 franchisees nationwide, with the help of its preferred PCI compliance provider, ControlScan.

The Challenge: Rallying Franchisees around Security

Learning Express, the nation’s leading franchisor of educational toy stores, has grown from one store in Massachusetts in 1987
to more than 150 franchises nationwide. The excitement of growth over 24 years has also been met with the reality of mandating operational processes and procedures for the small merchants.

As hackers and identity thieves have become more aggressive, Learning Express’ chief operating officer, Kathy Troknya, has
spent more time examining the company’s position on security. “Learning Express corporate has always recommended the payments systems for its franchisees,” said Troknya. “PCI compliance has typically fallen to the franchisees’ payments processor of choice. Increased awareness and attention surrounding compliance regulations and data breaches, however, led us to look more closely for a preferred PCI compliance and security solutions partner.”

All business owners are concerned with running their business, but Level 4 merchants—including many Learning Express franchisees—face the unique challenge of size. The smaller the business, the more jobs an owner takes on. Most small business owners are not well versed in IT infrastructure or the network security required to protect cardholder data and comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).

“Increased awareness and attention surrounding compliance regulations and data breaches led us to look more closely for a preferred PCI compliance and security solutions partner.”

The Solution: A “One-Stop Shop” for PCI Compliance

Troknya’s search for a preferred PCI compliance vendor was cut short when she received word of a positive compliance experience from a very pleased and enthusiastic franchisee in Connecticut. The franchisee was using ControlScan PCI 1-2-3.

“Increased awareness and attention surrounding compliance regulations and data breaches led us to look more closely for a preferred PCI compliance and security solutions partner.”

The PCI 1-2-3 program, available online via a merchant portal called myControlScan.com, provides franchisees or any merchant with the leading tools and support necessary to analyze, remediate and validate PCI compliance, including:

  • PCI 1-2-3 Self Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ)
  • PCI 1-2-3 Scanning
  • PCI 1-2-3 Policy Builder
  • PCI 1-2-3 Security Awareness Training
  • Breach Protection 

“The more I learned about ControlScan, PCI 1-2-3 and the education, support and tracking provided to business owners going through the compliance process,” said Troknya, “the more comfortable the Learning Express executive team and I felt referring our franchise owners to ControlScan as a one-stop shop for PCI compliance.”

Learning Express selected ControlScan as its preferred PCI compliance and security solutions provider and works with the Atlanta-based company on a referral basis. Learning Express supports its referral program with consistent PCI DSS education, including online manuals, a dedicated class at the company’s annual convention, ongoing webinars and periodic conference calls on the subject.

The Result: Increased Compliance Among Franchisees

“Learning Express is measuring results from its PCI compliance referral program with ControlScan in two ways,” continues Troknya, “First, are our franchise owners completing their self assessment questionnaires and scans—if necessary—and achieving PCI compliance? Second, as a result, are franchisees also able to focus on day-to-day business?”

The answer to both those questions is yes. By referring franchisees to ControlScan, Learning Express can feel confident that experts on staff at the PCI compliance and security solutions provider are educating, guiding, nudging and reminding store owners of what is required to be in compliance with the PCI DSS.

Between ControlScan’s expertise and Learning Express’ additional educational support, we are confident that each franchisee is taking a more proactive and stronger stance on card data security without negatively impacting the management and success of each franchise,” said Troknya.

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