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How does P2PE protect payments, and what is it?

P2PE Definition Point to Point Encryption (P2PE) is the encryption standard mandated by the PCI SCC for all cardholder data (Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council). According to the standard, cardholder data must be encrypted as soon as it is read by a payment terminal and must stay that way until it is processed by the payment processor. This indicates that the data is safe while it is being transferred from one location to another and cannot be utilised if it is stolen.

Standard Requirements for PCI P2PE

Strong encryption software and all the other hardware and software required for P2PE are all parts of a full point-to-point encryption system. The system must be validated by a PCI-qualified P2PE assessor regardless of whether you select a comprehensive P2PE solution or piece together P2PE applications and components. When a P2PE solution is granted PCI validation, it indicates that it satisfies all of the criteria outlined in the PCI P2PE Standard.

Among the requirements of the PCI P2PE standard are:

At the payment terminal, encryption

Before the data is transported anywhere else, it must first be encrypted at the payment terminal to prevent data theft in transit. A PCI-qualified P2PE assessor's software and devices must be used in a secure encryption environment.

Complex Cryptography

To protect payment data, the encryption employed at the payment terminal must be sophisticated enough. If the data is taken, strong encryption will prevent hackers from using brute force to decrypt the data.

Encryption Key Administration

To prevent theft and unauthorised access to encrypted data, the encryption keys must be stored separately from the encrypted data in a secure area.

Decryption Environment That Is Secure

Every time the encrypted data is decrypted for usage, a secure environment must be used.

To make sure that data is only decrypted when necessary and only in secure environments, several standards have been put in place. They make sure that each component complies with the stringent requirements set forth by the PCI CSS for payment processing, including the devices utilised in the encryption process and the type of encryption being used.

How Does P2PE Function?

P2PE encrypts data as it is collected by the payment processor, to put it simply. The sensitive information is converted into a code in this way, rendering it useless to anyone lacking the decryption key. Once the data has been transferred to the safe environment of the payment processor, this key will be used to decrypt it. This succeeds in a number of crucial ways:

Safeguards the entry point

Since cardholder data is encrypted inside the card reader, skimming attempts that aim to steal data at the point of entry cannot use the data that is gathered.

Security for Data in Transit

On its route to a secure payment gateway, which will be able to securely process payments, encrypted data is safe to transport over networks.

Reduces the PCI scope of a merchant

Data about cardholders never needs to be handled by the merchant because it is immediately encrypted and then sent to the bank. The merchant's scope for PCI compliance would be significantly increased if they stored this sensitive data on their own systems.

PCI DSS and P2PE Compliance

If you use a P2PE provider who complies with PCI P2PE regulations, your provider—and not you as the merchant—will bear the bulk of the responsibility for PCI compliance. P2PE is one of the greatest ways to narrow the scope of your system for the PCI Security Council. This is so that your company won't have to handle or maintain sensitive information within its own systems thanks to a P2PE supplier.

This does not, however, imply that there are no PCI Compliance requirements for your company. As the merchant, you are responsible for ensuring the safety of your payment terminals and the security of any card payment information that is obtained outside of a payment terminal (such as at a call centre). It will be essential to maintain secure systems for any data that is kept outside of the P2PE flow in order to protect cardholder data. This is still a lot lighter load than what would be expected of retailers without P2PE.

These pricey compliance worries will return to you if you select a P2PE supplier or system that is not appropriately certified by PCI CSS. Merchants wishing to lower their PCI scope should make finding a certified P2PE provider their first priority.

Looking for a P2PE solution that is both versatile and safe? Visit the TokenEx P2P Encryption website for a solution that encrypts data while protecting its usefulness.

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