Tokenization: Today's Challenge

While encryption transforms data using a specific algorithm, tokenization substitutes surrogate data (the token) to replace the data that needs protection.

Tokenization

Multiple methods exist for generating tokens and protecting the overall system; but in contrast to encryption, no formal tokenization standards exist. One common approach is to deploy a centralized tokenization service that generates tokens, performs the substitution, and stores the token and corresponding original data, allowing it to de-tokenize (substitute the original value for the token) when an application needs to use the original data. Alternative approaches avoid the need for a central token service and repository by utilizing secret, pre-generated look-up tables that are shared with applications.

Protecting Keys

The tokenization process helps to reduce the scope of compliance audits because customer credit card numbers, for example, are exchanged for tokens as soon as they are captured at a point-of-sale terminal, after which that data is no longer in compliance scope because the data no longer contains actual credit card numbers. With credit card tokenization, data remains in tokenized form by default, so any system that cannot access the de-tokenization service has the potential to be out of scope. For organizations to take advantage of the potential to reduce scope, they need to follow the guidelines issued by the PCI Council regarding the deployment of tokenization.

Maintaining Data Format

Tokenization is commonly employed by applications that require the protection of tightly formatted data. For these types of applications, a substitutional approach such as tokenization is a natural fit.

Regulatory Compliance

The tokenization process helps to reduce the scope of compliance audits because customer credit card numbers, for example, are exchanged for tokens as soon as they are captured at a point-of-sale terminal, after which that data is no longer in compliance scope because the data no longer contains actual credit card numbers. Data remains in tokenized form by default, so any system that cannot access the de-tokenization service has the potential to be out of scope. For organizations to take advantage of the potential to reduce scope, they need to follow the guidelines issued by the PCI Council regarding the deployment of tokenization.

Delivering Data Protection

Products and services from Thales e-Security can help enable an effective, high assurance tokenization solutions to protect customer information, reduce scope of regulatory compliance, and contain cost.

Thales hardware security modules (HSMs) can play an important role in ensuring adequate levels of security, just as they do in encryption systems. Since tokenization systems depend on the use of cryptography, HSMs can protect token stores and the tokenization process, and increase the performance of token generation.

Thales Vormetric Vaultless Tokenization with Dynamic Data Masking helps organizations address security and compliance objectives with minimal disruption and administrative overhead.

Creating a Trusted Platform for Cryptographic Processing

nShield HSMs create a trusted environment where tokens can be generated, stored, and managed and tokenization/de-tokenization performed safely and securely. This trusted layer overcomes the fact that a purely software-based environment in which applications typically execute is not, in itself, sufficiently trusted to meet the needs of a tokenization system.

Thales Vormetric Vaultless Tokenization with Dynamic Data Masking tokenizes sensitive data such as primary account numbers and remove them from the cardholder data environments that encompasses the PCI DSS audit scope.

Enabling Fast Deployments and Seamless Integration

Whether you tokenize account data using your own in-house developed software, a third-party commercial tokenization product, or a shared service, nShield HSMs can play an important role. These devices are already certified to integrate with many leading tokenization products, assuring fast deployments and seamless integration with existing systems.

Reduce Scope of Compliance

Deploy high assurance tokenization solutions to protect account data and reduce compliance costs. Utilize industry best practices recommended by auditors and PCI DSS guidelines to protect the integrity of tokenization systems.

Accelerate Deployments

nShield HSMs are pre-qualified to integrate with products from leading vendors.

High Performance and Flexibility

Purpose-built cryptographic offload capabilities enable one to accelerate the generation of tokens, particularly in situations where token values are cryptographically related to the source data. Choice of performance ratings and HSM form factor enable one to deploy exactly what is needed with easy upgrades easily as needs change.

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