Increasing the ROI of your HSM Infrastructure: Tokenization
Have you considered all of the functions that your hardware security module can fulfill? An HSM is a significant purchase that should not be taken lightly, but if you consult industry professionals during your decision process, you can ensure a significant return on your investment. A hardware security module can easily integrate into your current infrastructure and considerably increase the security of your IT environment. In our whitepaper, Increasing the Return on Investment of Your Hardware Security Module, we help you develop a holistic plan for tailoring your HSM’s functionality to your business’s needs. This blog post will take a look at one of the HSM’s many capabilities.
Many industries need to collect and store the personally identifiable information of their customers. PCI DSS best practices recommend that one of the best ways to provide security is to never store clear information unless absolutely necessary. Whenever information is collected or stored in the clear, there exists risk of compromise, but tokenization can provide mitigation for this risk.
Tokenization is an encryption method by which a randomly generated token, or string of characters, replaces sensitive data upon its entry. According to PCI DSS tokenization guidelines, tokens can be generated through mathematically reversible cryptographic functions based on strong cryptographic algorithms and keys, one-way non-reversible cryptographic functions, or randomly generated numbers that are not derived from the PAN, or Primary Account Number. If the system storing this information is compromised, the token is useless to the thief. Only the system that produced the token can detokenize the data, so the token has no value outside of its defined area of use.
Tokenization allows information to be securely stored in an encrypted state. Using tokenization reduces incentive for theft because repositories of in-the-clear data are valuable targets for hackers, but repositories of tokens have no value beyond the purpose the token was designed for. Though retail is often touted as the primary arena for tokenization, it is not the only industry that can benefit. From schools to hospitals, any industry that must store personally identifiable information must find a way to safely maintain those records.
Using a Futurex HSM for tokenization can save time and money by making PCI DSS compliance easier—when information is not stored in the clear, the scope of PCI DSS audits is reduced. Transactions such as sales and returns can be processed with the encrypted data because the token allows customers to be associated with their cards without requiring merchants to store the full credit card number. Tokenization can also speed transactions since tokens are still usable inside their merchant systems. Futurex HSMs allow for flexible, automated, and customizable tokenization through a single API command, so once the functionality has been set up, tokenization requires minimal effort. Tokenization can make transactions more convenient and more secure for both you and your customers.
As tokenization protects data in storage, you can achieve the best results when combining it with Point-to-Point Encryption to protect data in transit. Your Futurex HSM is capable of both tokenization and P2PE. To find out more, view our whitepaper, Increasing the Return on Investment of Your Hardware Security Module, or contact one of our Solutions Architects for a personalized solution.