With data protection becoming a high priority for more businesses, many are seeking information to help them better protect consumer data.
According to a recent report by technology news provider TechTarget, one data security technology in which many businesses are interested is credit card tokenization. Though relatively few projects exists, the report stated that the technology is receiving a growing interest among enterprise security professionals.
The widespread adoption of tokenization would likely benefit consumers, as the technology can offer greater levels of data protection than most systems currently in practice. Rather than providing credit card numbers at the point-of-sale terminal, the data is be replaced with a unique identifier, or token, which is used to complete the sale. Therefore, if a data thief does manage to steal the information, the number used to conduct the purchase is completely useless.
In a survey of 119 IT security and compliance professionals conducted by the news provider, 40 percent of respondents indicated they plan to use credit card tokenization. However, at the same time, many respondents said they do not have the support necessary to launch such an initiative. Furthermore, many said they need more information to ensure the project is successful.
"People realize the technology’s ability to reduce scope, but they haven’t gotten the support from above to implement it," Martin McKeay, a Payment Card Industry qualified security assessor, told the news provider.
Tokenization could be particularly beneficial as consumers continue to shop more online. According to a recent comScore study, ecommerce spending reached $38 billion in the United States in the first quarter of 2011 – representing the sixth consecutive quarter of year-over-year growth.
As this trend continues – coupled with growing mobile commerce spending – additional security measures are needed to protect credit card information collected by online retailers.