Intel makes data protection software for point of sale devices

October 16, 2014

Intel has been working on a new technology for the market that will secure transaction data in point of sale devices from malicious software.

In the wake of mass credit card thefts from major retailers earlier this year, securing point of sale devices from hacking is another measure in the effort to ensure that customer data is protected.

Recently, Intel has been working on a new technology for the market that will secure transaction data in point of sale devices from malicious software. Many of the retail industry’s security breaches that occurred earlier this year were the result of malware running on point of sale devices themselves. Generally, such devices are Windows PCs that have specialized hardware running alongside them.

Intel’s technology for data protection uses the Dynamic Application Loader (DAL) system, which specifically accesses protected parts of a computer CPU to exchange sale information. Using DAL all communications are protected by encryption and not at risk from malware, according to ZDNet.

Retailer point of sale devices will be safer
With this new technology, communications from point of sale devices, where cards are swiped, or smartphones tapped, are protected. Since the communications between the point of sale devices and Windows PCs are encrypted, the component susceptible to malware – the PC – is not exposed to sensitive transaction data. To develop this technology, Intel partnered with NCR. The data protection tool will available to retailers in 2015, noted the news source.

Retailers like Home Depot and Target that have been hit by cyber attacks will be safer from future crimes once the technology is released into the market. Intel expressed the importance of data protection technology.

“[Technology] supports all modern forms of credit/debit payment including EMV, magnetic stripe and near field communication readers, including Apple Pay,” said Intel, according to ZDNet. 

Michelle Tinsley, Director of Security and Mobile Payments at Intel, described data protection technology as a system that sets up two tunnels through which sensitive information is exchanged.

“One tunnel would communicate with the managed service provider and they can send through policies to manage the secured white-list for which servers and peripherals can communicate with the point of sale. Then the point of sale will set up a secure channel with that peripheral and then encrypt and accept whatever data is coming in,” said Tinsley, reported Payment Week.

The security of point of sale devices is only expected to improve over the coming years. Customer data will be more secure and retailers can enjoy consumer activity without worrying that their systems are being hacked. Perhaps the technology will also extend to other forms of information exchanges that occur through devices, such as passport checks at customs. In an increasingly digital world, personal data can never be too safe.

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