How to Secure Credit Card Data With a Tokenized Credit Card Vault.

A vault is a secure database that replaces sensitive credit card data with random strings called tokens. Vaults enable businesses to streamline PCI compliance and reduce the risk of breach and fraud.

This solution is ideal for e-commerce retailers, service providers, and subscription platforms that deal with credit cards regularly. It also helps to reduce the scope of the annual PCI validation exercise for these businesses.

PCI Compliance Requirements

As a legal firm that accepts payment by credit card, it’s your responsibility to keep that data secure. If you do not, a data breach could compromise your clients’ privacy and damage your reputation. This is why it’s important to follow PCI compliance requirements. These guidelines protect sensitive information by restricting access and encrypting it. However, achieving and maintaining compliance requires time and money.

The PCI security standards are a set of requirements that any entity that processes, stores or transmits credit card data must adhere to. This includes merchants, independent software vendors (ISVs) and service providers that process card data or have direct access to it. These rules are intended to prevent criminals from stealing valuable cardholder information and causing financial loss for both the victim and the merchant.

One requirement of the PCI security standard is that companies must store credit card numbers only if they have a legitimate business need for it. This is a key aspect of protecting cardholder data from cybercriminals, because it reduces the number of data points available to thieves. The second requirement is to limit the number of people who have access to sensitive information. The best way to do this is by implementing a strong password policy and using two-factor authentication. This will protect against unauthorized access by employees or hackers who steal login credentials.

Lastly, the third requirement is to create a detailed plan for handling sensitive card data. This should include how encryption keys are stored, to limit the risk of an attacker getting ahold of them and decrypting cardholder information. In addition, the plan should detail the steps the validating entity takes to ensure that data is not exposed and how it is protected from physical threats.

The PCI compliance requirements are extensive, and can be difficult for small businesses to comply with. They include more than 300 requirements, organized into 12 high-level requirements. These requirements mirror security best practices, including storing data in a secure environment and ensuring that all systems that interact with cardholder data are separate from other business systems.


If you run a subscription-based business, you may want to keep customer credit card data to allow for repeat billing or other recurring payments. To protect your customers’ data, you must store it securely and protect it from unauthorized access. A credit card vault is a secure way to do this. It encrypts the customer’s credit card data and stores it as tokens until you need to use the actual card number to process a transaction. This solution reduces your PCI scope and allows you to focus on the rest of your business.

A credit card vault is an effective solution for companies that need to store a large amount of data in a secure location. It uses advanced encryption technology to protect the data from hacking and other threats. Unlike traditional storage methods, a vault is constantly monitored and maintained by security experts. Moreover, a vault is more cost-effective than storing raw card data. In addition, it can also improve approval rates and decrease card fees. Moreover, it can be used to store multiple card types at once.

Vaults are often built by payment service providers (PSPs) to manage their own sensitive card data. These PSPs are required to pass annual and ad-hoc PCI compliance assessments, so they have the resources and expertise to protect their customers’ data. This helps them avoid the costly penalties of a breach.

As a result, these PSPs can offer a cost-effective storage solution for their clients. However, it is important to choose a vault provider that offers flexible pricing models and supports multiple APIs. This will ensure that you can migrate to another provider if necessary.

While most businesses store their credit card data digitally, some record information from phone orders or other forms of payment authorization. This data is typically the credit card number and a security code, such as the three-digit CVV2 number on Visa/MasterCard cards or the four-digit CID number on American Express cards. Unfortunately, storing this information in a database or spreadsheet can make it vulnerable to theft.

To solve this problem, many businesses implement a credit card vault. A vault encrypts the card data and stores it as tokens, making it impossible to steal the actual card numbers. The tokens can then be used in place of the actual card numbers for processing payments. However, this solution is not suitable for all businesses. If you have a highly sensitive dataset, a vault might not be the best option. In that case, you may need to invest in your own solution.


If you want to ensure that your cardholder data is secure, you will need to implement several security measures. These include encryption and a strong password policy. You should also have a security program in place to detect and remove known malware. You should also update your anti-virus software on a regular basis. This will prevent malware from attacking and spreading throughout your systems. Another important step is to keep your payment system off shared resources and only connect it to those systems that need to use it. This will prevent malware from infecting the system and accessing your sensitive cardholder data.

If a breach occurs, you will need to have a process in place to track the activity that happened on your system. This will help you identify who accessed your data and determine if they did so with malicious intent. Then, you will need to take steps to remediate the problem and prevent it from happening again.

To comply with PCI requirements, all staff that has access to cardholder data should have only a “need-to-know” role. This means that all staff, executives, and third parties who do not need to know the cardholder data should not have it in their possession. Moreover, each person who has access should have a unique ID that cannot be shared or guessed by others. This will create fewer vulnerabilities and allow for quicker response times in the event of a breach.

Requirement three of PCI DSS specifies that Sensitive Authentication Data (SAD) should not be stored after authorization. This is because attackers can use this information to make fraudulent transactions over card-present and card-not-present channels. This is why SAD should be stored only by an issuer, and only under certain conditions and rationales.

Tokenization reduces the amount of credit card data that is stored on a system. It is a useful technique for merchants that are concerned about security or want to optimize their payment processing processes. However, tokens have the disadvantage of being proprietary. They cannot be used by other PSPs, which limits the flexibility of a merchant’s payment process. To address this issue, many merchants choose to use a third-party token service provider (TSP).


When storing credit card information in-house, it is important to ensure that all security measures are in place. This includes limiting access to this data to only those who need it, ensuring that all systems are updated in a timely manner, and preventing third-party access. These measures will help to reduce the risk of data breaches and improve response time if a breach does occur.

Several service providers offer secure storage as a standalone service or as part of a payment processing package. These services typically provide you with a token in exchange for the card number they keep on file. When you are ready to process a payment, they retrieve the token and the full card number for the sole purpose of processing the transaction. These service providers must be PCI DSS verified.

If you have to store card information electronically, make sure it is encrypted. Storing unencrypted cards and electronic files makes it easy for attackers to get the card details they need. Electronic storage is common if you have recurring transactions or if you need to store the card data for legal reasons. However, you must be careful not to store any "tracking data," which refers to the three or four-digit security code contained in the magnetic stripe on the back of a card.

Another way to protect card data is through truncation, which removes all but the first six and last four digits of the primary account number (PAN). This can be done in conjunction with tokenization, which replaces the PAN with an arbitrary number that cannot be reverted to the original card details. Hashing, which permanently transforms the data into a unique index data element, is also used to protect card information.

Vault uses multiple secret engines to encrypt, store and generate dynamic secrets and authentication. These engines are scalable and can be configured to use different methods for logging in. It is highly available, meaning that if one engine goes down the other can take over.

Using a vault with tokenization is an ideal solution for businesses that need to store sensitive data in-house. It provides a more reliable and secure alternative to storing cards on paper or in an insecure database. It is also an excellent choice for online businesses that need to securely process payments from customers.

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Mark Fravel

Mark Fravel is the owner/operator of National Transaction Corporation, a payment processing company uniquely focused on the challenges of payment processing for the travel industry.

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