Safety and Encryption: How Merchant Service Providers Keep Your Sensitive Information Secure
With the recent outbreak of security breaches with regards to credit and debit card numbers being stolen, there is a heightened degree of concern with regards to the safety of using merchant service providers and cards in general. Luckily, most merchant service providers are devoted to keeping the private financial information of their customers secret and have developed thorough systems that will be able to keep hackers out and personal information safe.
What is Encryption?
The main way that a merchant service provider keeps the personal financial information of its customers secure is through the use of encryption. Encryption is essentially when the information that is included on credit cards and debit cards, especially the account number, is translated into a code. The code can be read by other machines within the system but will be nearly impossible for human or computer hackers to figure out. The most common type of encryption that is used by merchant service providers is end-to-end encryption (E2EE). E2EE is the preferred method because it requires any account numbers, names, or security codes be encrypted before leaving the device in which they were stored. Because most of this information is disseminated through electronic means, which is a more vulnerable method of dissemination, encryption is highly recommended.
Why is it Effective?
Encryption is exceedingly effective because it essentially makes a person's credit or debit card information unreadable by hackers and other people who would seek to steal it. By not transferring the information until it has been encrypted, it is possible to keep the data and information from becoming vulnerable.
What is Tokenization?
Tokenization is another method by which merchant service providers keep a customer's data secure. It is essentially the process of taking some sensitive information and then swapping it out with a packet of information that means pretty much nothing. This unimportant packet of information is known as a token. It can be used to find the sensitive information by mapping back to it. As long as the tokens are randomly generated numbers and not based on any particular system, it will be impossible for anyone to successfully track back without being a specific part of the tokenization system. In order for a tokenization system to be truly effective, it is important for the system to be separate from the data processing system.
Why is Tokenization Effective?
Tokenization is effective because it essentially provides another barrier that prevents people from being able to access personal financial data that merchant service providers need to keep secure. It is possible for applications and other systems to use tokens, rather than live data, which tends to be very vulnerable.
Can Tokenization and Encryption be Combined?
The most effective merchant service providers are able to combine the security forces of tokenization and encryption to ensure that the data of their customers remains absolutely secure. Both encryption and tokenization are methods that merchant service providers are able to use to meet Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards, which govern how sensitive information is protected on a widespread basis.
Merchant service providers are able to protect the data of their customers through encryption and tokenization, thereby ensuring that the information remains secure and that their reputation remains intact.