As the world moves ever closer to an all-digital economy, the importance of data security increases. For businesses that handle sensitive customer information, maintaining PCI compliance is essential to keeping that data safe. Fortunately, there are companies that specialize in providing PCI compliance services.
Using a PCI compliance provider can help your business in a number of ways. First, it takes the burden of compliance off of your shoulders. Instead of having to spend your time and money on the process, you can outsource it to a third party. Second, you may be able to gain security benefits that you might not be able to do on your own. Finally, it allows you to focus on what you do best while someone else handles the compliance end.
But we probably hurry too much. Firstly, in this article, we would like to tell you about the most basic things. What is PCI compliance? What is Tokenization? How are these two things intertwined? How does card tokenization work? We will answer each of them. Let’s start.
So, to begin with, what is PCI Compliance in general?
PCI compliance is a set of security standards set forth by the Payment Card Industry. The standards cover nearly every aspect of payment processing. They range from the physical location of your equipment to how you handle customer data. To achieve compliance, you must meet a number of standards that include physical security, access control, application security, encryption, etc.
PCI compliance is required by all major credit card brands, including Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover. Organizations that are not PCI compliant may be subject to fines and penalties from credit card brands. PCI DSS is a series of requirements that are divided into six major categories. PCI DSS compliance requires meeting all of the requirements within each category. The six major categories of PCI DSS are:
- Build and maintain a secure network.
- Protect cardholder data.
- Maintain a vulnerability management program.
- Implement strong access control measures.
- Regularly monitor and test networks.
- Maintain an information security policy.
PCI DSS also includes requirements for each of these categories, as well as additional requirements that are not listed within the six major categories. For example, the requirement to maintain a vulnerability management program includes requirements to perform vulnerability scanning at least quarterly and to respond appropriately when vulnerabilities are discovered. Compliance with PCI DSS is a prerequisite for participation in the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) program.
Maintaining a PCI-compliant environment is not an easy task. Catching up to the standards can be costly and time-consuming, even for the largest of organizations. That’s why we have touched upon the topic of PCI compliance providers. They have to be credible and professional – this way, you’ll make yourself a favor by finding a helper.
And for sure, there are many benefits to maintaining PCI compliance. One of the main benefits is the liability that comes with not being PCI compliant. Compliance with the standard ensures that businesses are handling customer credit card information securely. Businesses that are not PCI compliant can be fined by their credit card processor. For example, in 2008, MasterCard, Visa, and other financial companies began to levy fines on organizations that were not PCI compliant. When an organization is hit with a fine, it can be very costly. In October of 2008, the Department of Defense was hit with a $12 million fine for being non-compliant. Another benefit is that you can prove to your customers and clients that you are taking the necessary precautions to protect their information. This also gives you more credibility with your clients and customers.
So, as you have already understood, PCI compliance is important for businesses that accept credit card payments. It ensures that businesses are handling customer credit card information in a secure manner. Tokenization is one way that businesses can ensure PCI compliance. Tokenization replaces sensitive credit card data with a randomly generated number called a token. This token can be used to process payments without exposing the actual credit card number. This way, Tokenization becomes a secure and effective way to protect customers’ credit card information while still allowing businesses to accept credit card payments. It is an effective method to comply with PCI Standard. Many businesses may not realize that they are handling sensitive credit card information, which makes them non-compliant. In addition to making sure that you are following PCI compliance guidelines, you should take steps to protect customer data. Tokenization is a step that can be taken to protect customer data and make you sure of your safety. Tokenization can also help reduce fraud and chargebacks. By replacing sensitive customer information with a token, you no longer have access to the original credit card number.
But to understand this, we must speak on what Tokenization really is in more detail.
Tokenization is a method of replacing sensitive customer information with a token. A token is a random alphanumeric string that has no meaning to the merchant or anyone else who receives it. It can be used as a replacement for sensitive credit card information. When a token is used, the original credit card information is no longer stored in any form. This means that it cannot be stolen or exposed to hackers. In the context of cryptocurrency, Tokenization refers to the process of converting real-world assets into digital tokens that can be traded on a blockchain.
How Does Tokenization Work? A token is an alphanumeric string that has no meaning and serves as a replacement for sensitive customer information. Tokens are created by a tokenization service. A tokenization service replaces the sensitive information with a unique alphanumeric string that is referred to as a token. The tokenization service then stores the tokens on a central database which is referred to as a Token Vault. When a merchant or other third party receives the token, they can use it to process a transaction. The tokenization service then replaces the token with sensitive information on a one-to-one basis. This way, if there is a data breach, only a single individual’s information is exposed. The tokenization service can also generate a token from the information and return it to the merchant, who then sends that token back to the tokenization service. The tokenization service then replaces the sensitive information with a unique alphanumeric string. This is called de-tokenization. In the end, only a tokenized version of the sensitive information is stored in the Token Vault. Merchants can then avoid storing sensitive information, such as credit card numbers. When a consumer makes a purchase with their credit card, the merchant simply requests tokens from the tokenization service and processes them. Tokenization can help reduce the PCI DSS scope because it removes the need to store, process, or transmit sensitive data.
Some people don’t get the difference between Tokenization and encryption. Indeed, there is some difficulty in understanding, and they really have a lot in common. Tokenization and encryption are both important data security methods, but they serve different purposes. Tokenization replaces sensitive data with a random string of characters (called a token, as we have already explained) which has no meaning or value on its own. This makes it impossible for hackers to decipher the original data even if they intercept the token. Encryption, on the other hand, encodes data using an algorithm so that it can only be decoded by someone with the corresponding key. Encryption is useful for securing data in transit, but Tokenization protects data at rest.
And to conclude, let’s sum up the benefits of Tokenization. First of all, there is a reduced risk of data breaches: By replacing sensitive data with tokens, organizations can reduce the risk of that. And if tokens are compromised, the sensitive data they represent will be safe. Tokens are typically less valuable than the sensitive data they represent and are often stored separately from the rest of an organization’s data. The benefits of security tokens are numerous. Tokenization allows for the quick and easy trade of assets, which can be done in a matter of seconds rather than days or weeks. It also improves transparency by keeping records on a blockchain, which is nearly impossible to alter.
In general, that’s all. We hope this article will be helpful for you. Take care and good luck!