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PCI Council Updates Point-to-Point Encryption Standard

The Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) announced this week an update to the Point-to-Point Encryption (P2PE) standard.

The Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) announced this week an update to the Point-to-Point Encryption (P2PE) standard.

Version 2.0 of the “PCI Point-to-Point Encryption Solution Requirements and Testing Procedures” is designed to provide more flexible requirements for encryption products. The goal is to make it easier to develop and use solutions that encrypt payment card data, ensuring that it’s less valuable for attackers in case of a breach, the PCI SSC said.

Solution providers and firms that offer P2PE components are given more flexibility. The updated standard contains a list of validated P2PE components in an effort to make it easier for providers to create solutions for merchants. Furthermore, merchants can implement and manage their own solutions for their point-of-sale (PoS) locations.

This gives merchants more control over where and how the PCI Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) applies in their retail environment, making it easier to comply with the PCI DSS.

Because they are given the option to manage their own P2PE solutions for PoS locations, merchants are able to securely separate duties, systems, and functions between encryption and decryption environments. Alternatively, they can rely on the services of specialized companies to manage P2PE solutions, the PCI SSC said.

“Malware that captures and steals data at the point-of-sale continues to threaten businesses and their ability to protect consumers’ payment information. As these attacks become more sophisticated, it’s critical to find ways to devalue payment card data,” explained Troy Leach, CTO of the PCI Council. “PCI Point-to-Point Encryption solutions help merchants do this by encrypting cardholder data at the earliest point of acceptance, making that data less valuable to attackers even if compromised in a breach.”

The PCI SSC also announced this week an update to the standard for device security, which contains requirements for device manufacturers for improving the security of ATMs and PoS systems.

Related: PCI Security Standards Council Releases Tokenization Product Guidelines

Related: PCI Security Standards Council Releases Guidance on Pen Testing

Written By

Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.

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