EMV Cards Due October – It’s About Time!

EMVcardEMV or “chip and PIN” cards have a much higher level of security built right into the card, and have been in common use in Europe for over a decade.  For some reason (too expensive to implement?  Really?) the United States has continued to use the horribly insecure magnetic stripe credit card, which is why exploits like the Target Christmas card breach are even possible.

On October 1st, the United States will FINALLY join Europe other civilized parts of the globe in using the EMV credit card.  EMV stands for Europay, MasterCard, and Visa, the three companies that backed this credit card specification.  EMV cards replace the completely insecure magnetic stripe (where all you card data lives in an unencrypted clear-text state any thief can read) with an embedded microchip.  This chip uses encryption, and employs a one-time pad approach to generating card numbers that prevent them from ever being replayed, or used a second time, even if they are decoded.

You will be “waving” or “dipping” the card over the new style card reader, and providing a PIN number.  This is known as “chip and PIN.”  Retailers will need to contact their point of sale systems providers to get the new equipment.  Failure to do so by October 1, 2015 puts your company at risk and you will be held liable for fraudulent charges.  If you accept credit cards in your business, you need to get going.

So, just in time for Christmas, maybe we will finally really be safe from credit card fraud.

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About the Author:

Cybersecurity analyst, pen-tester, trainer, and speaker. Serving small business owners in the St Paul, Minneapolis, and western Wisconsin area since 2001. Cybersecurity and hacking have been a passion of mine since I entered the computer and networking business in 2000. I hold several cybersecurity certifications including Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Certified Advanced Security Pratitioner (CASP), and Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH). Other computer industry certifications include A+, Network+ and Microsoft Certified System Engineer (MCSE). As Cybersecurity Analyst at The WyzCo Group, I help our clients experience high levels of security on their computers, networks, and websites. In addition to consulting on security products and services, we also conduct security audits, vulnerability assessments and full penetration tests. We also work with companies and organizations that need to certify compliance with regulations such as PCI-DSS (credit card processing), HIPAA/HITECH (medical records), and GLBA. We also provide Cybersecurity Awareness Training for clients and their employees. I am a frequent speakers at cybersecurity conferences such as the Minnesota Bloggers Conference, Secure360 Security Conference, the (ISC)2 World Congress, and the ISSA International Conference, and many local community organizations, Chambers of Commerce, SCORE, and several school districts. I have been blogging on cybersecurity since 2008.

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