Feeds

Visa gives merchants crypto card security guidelines

Retailers scramble for safety

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Visa has published best practices for data field encryption (AKA end-to-end encryption) that call on merchants to always encrypt cardholder data.

Data field encryption covers techniques for ensuring swiped credit data is always stored and transmitted in an encrypted format right from the point where a customer plastic is swiped or an online order is taken. The approach is designed to supplement existing PCI DSS security standards for merchants in helping to protect cardholder data from hacking attacks, particularly those targeted at retailers or online merchants.

PCI DSS covers the need to run up to date anti-virus and to use encryption for wireless networks without making specific recommendations. The data encryption best practice offers advice on encryption from a comparable standpoint, such as using robust key lengths for encryption and protecting terminal devices against tampering.

Sensitive authentication data such as CVV2 numbers or PINs should only be used for authorisation and never held on merchant's systems.

The publication of data field encryption standards follows in the wake of recent high-profile security breaches at firms such as TJX.

Standards in the area are in an early sage of development, but we might expect Visa to adopt a carrot and stick approach towards merchants in encouraging their adoption. Reduced processing fees for early adopters will be put together with big fines for merchants who do experience a breach and aren't following the guidelines.

In addition to publishing encryption best practices, Visa also announced that it will chair the ANSI X9F6 standards working group helping to guide the development of a data field encryption standard.

Data field encryption applies after the card is swiped and dealt with within a merchant's environment until it reaches a payment processing firm. What happens within the payment processor until it goes to Visa is covered by separate guidelines.

Visa accepts encrypted transaction data from acquirers, third-party processors and merchants directly connected to VisaNet.

"While no single technology will completely solve for fraud, data field encryption can be an effective security layer to render cardholder data useless to criminals in the event of a merchant data breach," said Eduardo Perez, global head of data security at Visa. "Using encryption as one component of a comprehensive data security program can enhance a merchant's security by eliminating any clear text data either in storage or in flight." ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
'Kim Kardashian snaps naked selfies with a BLACKBERRY'. *Twitterati gasps*
More alleged private, nude celeb pics appear online
Home Depot ignored staff warnings of security fail laundry list
'Just use cash', former security staffer warns friends
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
UK.gov lobs another fistful of change at SME infosec nightmares
Senior Lib Dem in 'trying to be relevant' shocker. It's only taxpayers' money, after all
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign
Claim of tapped undersea cable refuted by Kiwi PM as Kim claims extradition plot
Freenode IRC users told to change passwords after securo-breach
Miscreants probably got in, you guys know the drill by now
THREE QUARTERS of Android mobes open to web page spy bug
Metasploit module gobbles KitKat SOP slop
BitTorrent's peer-to-peer chat app Bleep goes live as public alpha
A good day for privacy as invisble.im also reveals its approach to untraceable chats
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.