When you think about data breaches, what comes to mind? News headlines of name-brand businesses coping with the aftermath of attacks? “Hactivists” targeting well-known organizations?
There are countless considerations as you fortify your business against the threat of data theft and its associated losses. Tokenization is one of the most simple and straightforward ways to protect you and your customers against the negative effects of a data breach.
Here are four reasons why you should consider tokenization for your online payments.
1. Tokenization allows you to remove sensitive cardholder information from your systems.
Tokenization lets you substitute a credit, debit, prepaid, or checking account number stored on your system with a string of numbers known as a token. Each token is specific to your business and useless to anyone else who might try to use it, so you can store it without concern.
2. Implementing and using tokens should be seamless.
Choose a payments processing provider that makes implementing and using tokens completely transparent to both you and your customers. Tokens should be card-based, not transaction-based, so they fit easily into your existing systems.
3. Tokenization can reduce your scope of PCI DSS compliance.
Tokenization can reduce the scope of your systems that fall under the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliance requirements, thereby reducing the costs and man-hours associated with the auditing process. This can extend beyond your production system to include your failover system, disaster recovery (“backup”) system, and testing environments.
4. You can get your data back.
If at any time you want your cardholder information returned to you, your payments processing provider should be able to provide it in a secure, PCI DSS-compliant manner in its entirety. Therefore, you never lose ownership of your vital customer information.
Data breaches are, unfortunately, not going away and will continue to command headlines in the years ahead. Tokenization is one of the simplest ways to begin to protect both your customers and your company in the never-ending onslaught of these unrelenting threats.
Photo by fantasista/FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Pattie Mercier is Director, eCommerce Partnerships, at Vantiv.