The Green Sheet Online Edition
January 12, 2009 • Issue 09:01:01
Securing data on the edge
The edge of POS systems has become the place where card data security begins. The edge is considered the most efficient and practical location where data should be encrypted.
Semtek Corp. considers its award-winning Cipher Security Module an "edge" device because it secures cardholder data directly at the point of swipe.
It is designed to provide advanced security at the precise point in the payment network where card data enters the system - at the edge of the network.
The module is designed to replace the security features on conventional mag stripe readers. It can be integrated into new card swipers or retrofitted as a plug-and-play device on existing terminals.
Semtek said the module is compatible with every terminal deployed in the last 10 years. Its form factor is not radically different than conventional mag stripe readers, which enables it to fit into many new and installed payment terminals.
The firmware that powers the module is based on the application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC). Within the ASIC design is a set of security applications that transforms the module into a powerful computing platform; the applications make up the Cipher Applications Suite, and include powerful tools for data encryption, card authentication, and real-time security reporting, Semtek noted.
The module itself is a federal innovation processing standard-architected design, providing physical security to the same standard usually found in much larger, network-based hardware security modules (HSM). Therefore, Semtek refers to the module as a "mini HSM."
"Our cipher technology provides an end-to-end security solution that is, we believe, the most efficient and powerful means of securing card data available in the world today," said Patrick Hazel, Chief Executive Officer at Semtek.
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