CertainSafe Prevents Payment Card Industry Data Breaches

CertainSafe, a global provider of highly secure data security solutions, announced “2nd Generation Tokenization,” a solution that sets a new standard for securing PCI data around the actual payment card data itself facilitating the mitigation/elimination of the threat of data breaches.

CertainSafe’s approach called MicroTokenization provides tokenization of all data around the card number. It also increases the amount of data that can be “tokenized” from what was 16 bits to the new Certainsafe standard of more than 2 billion bits (2GBs-plus). This creates the ability to facilitate end-to-end encryption, securing data in rest as well as in motion. This feat has never before been accomplished. Additionally, all MicroTokenization is conducted within a PCI Level 1 DSS Certified environment as well as a HIPAA-complainant protected environment.

CertainSafe’s 2nd Generation Tokenization can be integrated into both a payment processor’s infrastructure, their Point of Sale (POS) systems as well as a company’s infrastructure through the use of a simple API process.

The CertainSafe MicroTokenization Advantage

Tokenization has existed since the emergence of the world’s first currency systems as a means to minimize risk in handling high value financial instruments by replacing them with placeholders. For example, coin type tokens, bank notes, and casino chips have been utilized to replace cash, which mitigates the risk of theft.  In transaction processing, “tokens” are implanted to replace an individualized data element. However, 1st generation tokenization typically maintain the length and parts of the formatting of the original data. The new 2nd Generation Tokenization—MicroTokens—do not use any part or form of the original data.

CertainSafe has taken tokenization to a whole new level of security standardization with the ability to “Microtokenize” up to 2GBs of data right down to the byte level.  This allows for protection of all forms of data “around a card” and/or other forms of payment transaction utilizing this breakthrough method.

Once data is MicroTokenized, all that would reside within a system would be non-sensitive data elements along with MicroTokens—or “placeholders” —that do not contain any piece of the original data. When a data breach through perimeter defenses occurs, the compromised system would not contain any piece of the sensitive data that can be exploited because it would no longer reside there.

“The concept of protecting ‘Data around the Card’ with the use of tokenization has long been needed for storing sensitive information,” said Steven Russo, executive vice president of CertainSafe. “CertainSafe’s revolutionary MicroTokenization process allows for near real-time speed. The data is not only ultra-secure, but also readily accessible at near real-time performance so as to have very little impact on the user experience. CertainSafe’s 2nd Generation Tokenization takes the simple tokenization of card numbers to a whole new level.”

PCI Compliance and Simple Tokenization Is Not a Guarantee of Security

It is important to note that being PCI-complaint is not a guarantee that an organization is immune to breaches. It merely means that minimum standards have been achieved. According to Visa, as many as 1700 merchants are not PCI compliant, meaning they do not meet secure PCI standards.

As cybercriminals become more sophisticated, staying ahead of threats is a daily challenge. The PCI Security Standards Council constantly monitors threats while working to improve the means of dealing with them through enhancements to the standards and by the training of security professionals

“Card numbers alone are only part of the complex issue that payment processors are attempting to address,” said David Schoenberger, chief innovation officer at CertainSafe. “Card numbers are important, but so is the available and complementary PII data such as addresses, names, order information—anything that could lead a malicious hacker to the identity data.  The card number is only a small part of what a hacker wants. The more data a hacker gets, the more complete a profile of an individual they obtain, making the data they steal that much more valuable.”


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