Hypercom protects customers from fraud by providing high-security POS devices

With Thales HSMs, Hypercom Protects POS Devices Against Counterfeiting And Tampering.

Hypercom Corporation is one of the world’s leading providers of electronic payment solutions and point-of-sale (POS) devices. Its products are used by many of the world’s top financial institutions, payment processors, and retailers along with single-location retail shops and restaurants. Hypercom’s many customers share one similarity: They rely on high-security POS solutions to protect themselves against transaction fraud. And they turn to Hypercom because it designs and builds a unique layer of trust into its POS devices using digital certificates. Issued using a certificate authority (CA) and Thales hardware security modules (HSMs), digital certificates protect the authenticity of Hypercom’s POS devices. This system of validation and encrypting security protects Hypercom’s customers from counterfeits and tampering, helping them to secure the trust of banks and consumers worldwide.

“Security is first and foremost in every product and service that we sell,” says Stuart Taylor, Vice President of Global Marketing for Hypercom. “Thales HSMs provide the trusted elements of PKI-enabled security that are essential to the success of our products in every market of the world. They are at the core of how we ensure that the devices we manufacture can be trusted to protect our customers— and consumers—against unauthorized activity within the payment system, whether or not it’s actual fraud.”

Built-in Trust

The potential financial impact of data breaches and fraudulent transactions on companies is staggering. Data breaches can lead to direct money loss due to fraud and result in irreparable brand damage. POS systems are a key defense against fraudulent transactions entering the payment system. But what ensures the integrity of POS devices themselves? How do merchants and banks know there has been no tampering of the software within the device itself? All too often, the answer is that they do not—unless it’s a Hypercom device.

Digital certificates are the difference. Digital certificates uniquely identify each Hypercom POS device and allow only devices authenticated using a digital certificate to remotely access the payment device for downloads or key injection. This makes it impossible for a counterfeit or modified software application to be added to the payment device, thereby preventing a potential security weakness. The certificates in Hypercom POS devices allow each device and each download transaction to be identified and therefore trusted.

Benefits With Thales

  • Prevents unauthorized access to software or firmware that changes functionality of the payment device
  • Ensures only trusted devices operate within trusted environments by using tamper-proof digital certificates
  • Prevents merchant service provider “slamming”
  • Enables secure remote debit key management to reduce costs and eliminate downtime

Reliable Integration With Leading Certificate Authorities

In setting up its digital certificate system, Hypercom evaluated a number of CA and HSM options. It chose RSA Keon as its CA, and Thales HSMs for key protection. Thales HSMs stood out for their excellent reputation for reliability and security, along with tested and seamless integration with leading CA solutions.

“Thales had an established track record for delivering a stable product with good support, performance, and integration,” says Patty Walters, Vice President of Global Solutions at Hypercom. “With digital certificates playing such an important role in our product strategy, we wanted a trusted and proven HSM. Thales HSMs were the obvious and best choice.”

Secured Global Manufacturing Processes

Today, secure issuance of digital certificates and protection of the issuance process are built into Hypercom’s manufacturing operations worldwide. The company’s factory in one country connects to the Hypercom CA in another. Thales HSMs securely manage the private keys that enable the CA to issue a unique digital certificate for inclusion in each device.

“Thales HSMs protect our digital certificate issuance process as part of our global manufacturing operation, so that only authenticated and trusted POS devices are on our customer’s networks—protecting merchants and consumers against potentially costly data breaches,” notes Mr. Vences.

Company Profile

Delivering high-security, end-to-end electronic payment products and services, Hypercom solutions are used in more than 100 countries and handle more transactions than any other company in the world.

Hypercom was founded in 1978 and Phoenix, Arizona.

Customers Win—and Winning Customers

The digital certificates within Hypercom’s POS devices allow secure download of new firmware or applications to the devices. Hypercom POS devices accept updates only from trusted sources with authorized digital certificates. Without the protection provided by digital certificates and HSMs, the devices would have to be removed and serviced manually at a secure location at significant expense and disruption.

“The protection afforded by our Thales HSMs is the cornerstone of our advantage in the marketplace,” adds Ms. Walters. “They help to enable a level of security that exceeds current standards while also lowering the lifetime operating costs of POS devices. Our customers understand and appreciate the difference. It’s one of the reasons we are successful in winning new customers and retaining long-time customers.”

Enhanced Trusted Operations

When asked about the advantages of superior device protection, Ms. Walters sums it up this way: “Regulations in most countries do not require the level of assurance and trust Hypercom builds into each device with the help of Thales. Our customers who choose to utilize the level of protection the digital certificate provides do not face financial and reputational risks from the types of threats inherent in less secure systems. Thales HSMs are at the core of our success—an essential part of our competitive advantage.”