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When Point-to-point encryption (P2PE) was standardized by the PCI Security Standards Council, many thought it would become the be-all end-all security solution they needed. It would protect customer data and relieve some of the burden of PCI compliance on the merchant.
As with anything that sounds too good to be true, proceed with caution.
P2PE is a PCI security standard that requires credit card information be encrypted from the point-of-sale (POS) to a secure point-of-decryption. This makes the card account information unreadable while it is being transmitted; therefore, difficult for hackers to extract sensitive data.
So far, so good. Customer credit card data is now protected from “bumper-to-bumper” as it transmits.
When new cybersecurity features hit the market, many want to believe the “new and improved” model will protect them against every threat. Then they may decide not to continue updating older features, like anti-virus or firewalls, thinking they are no longer needed.
You can never be too secure.
As an analogy, when airbags were added to vehicles, some may have felt the seatbelt wasn’t necessary anymore (yet they were designed to work together). Seatbelts are a foundation of vehicle safety. Airbags were designed to protect further from other impact injury possibilities, but airbags can be deadly without a seatbelt and in other circumstances, like with children.
By using both features correctly, the survival rate increases dramatically in a head-on collision for adults. Human error is all around us on the road and sometimes we cannot prevent an accident, so we prepare ourselves with layers of safety for the best possible outcome if worse comes to worst.
A PCI-validated P2PE solution shouldn’t be a merchant’s only source of protection against cybercrime. Nothing by itself will stop every form of cyberattack. One never knows when, where, or how the next attack will occur, so merchants need a multi-layered security solution. And, when possible, a third-party to manage or co-manage that plan and the solutions used.
Before you buy a new car, you might want to shop around for the best price, best safety features, take it for a test drive, maybe even kick the tires. Before purchasing a cybersecurity solution, know what you need, shop around, and understand what you’re getting.
Here are some of the questions the PCI Security Standards Council recommends when shopping for a cybersecurity vendor:
To set up an effective network security plan, you will need to go above and beyond PCI DSS compliance and assess:
It’s never too late to start preparing for the next cybersecurity threat. Kick the tires now, before it’s too late, with a Free Security Consultation. Gauge your risk with this quick Risk Assessment.
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