How Tokenization Keeps Your Data Secure

11 Jul
2013

If you have information that you need to keep secure, you only have a few options as far as technologies are concerned. One of the most popular choices is encrypting the data so nobody can read it. But encryption can be cracked with enough time and effort, and can’t be trusted to keep your data safe by itself. Fortunately, there’s another option – you can remove the data from your system entirely.

tokenization data securityTokenization is a process that does just that. Using our service, sensitive information such as credit card data, medical information, bank account numbers, and more is secured by keeping it out of your system entirely, so there is never any opportunity to steal or hack it.

The process works like this: A customer on your website wants to buy a product. They input their information – including credit card numbers and other personal data – into your order form. Traditionally, that information would be passed to you, and it would be your responsibility to keep it secure. But using tokenization data security,  the information is instead passed into an offsite, secure server. There, the sensitive data is replaced with a “token.”

These tokens look and act just like real customer data, but they aren’t real. They have no value except as a placeholder that refers back to the original data – which, you’ll remember, is stored in a secure environment. A token is not encrypted data; rather, it’s randomized information that cannot be traced back to your customers. In other words, it’s totally secure.

These tokens are then passed on to you, the merchant, for the purposes of completing your order. You can store the tokenized data into your system the same way that real customer data would be stored, but your risk and compliance burden is significantly reduced because the tokenized data cannot be used for any other purpose.

And when it comes time to process the payment, your data is kept just as secure. The tokens are passed back through the secured server, matched with their real counterparts, and passed along to the payment processor. You never encounter the data itself, reducing risk and cost for you and improving your customer security.

That’s tokenization data security – a way of keeping data secure by completely removing it from your system. If you’re worried about security or having trouble keeping your system PCI-compliant, tokenization could be a perfect solution.

TokenEx is a leading provider of tokenization data security services. Our systems are Level 1 PCI-certified, and we will help you reduce your PCI compliance and improve your customer data security.