Intel and NCR collaborate on end-to-end encryption for consumer and financial data

16 Oct 2014

Image via gpointstudio/Shutterstock

As both mobile and smart devices from the internet of things begin to encroach on the retail and financial services space, Intel and NCR have devised a fresh approach to secure data protection.

An IDC white paper from early last year estimated that enterprise businesses would spend US$114bn dealing with malware-related cyberattacks in 2013. This is unsurprising, considering a week rarely passes without industry reports of compromised data affecting consumers and businesses alike.

This persistent insecurity is eroding consumers’ trust and chipping away at business’ reputations.

Intel Data Protection Technology for Transactions

The issue, if you ask chip-maker Intel and global consumer transaction technology company NCR, is that emerging technologies have resulted in bolt-on security solutions implemented on a piecemeal basis that aren’t robust enough to offer complete protection.

Enter Intel Data Protection Technology for Transactions and NCR DataGuard, a combination of hardware and software built to provide a secure encrypted pipeline for personal data on open platforms in the retail and financial services space.

While current technologies such as EMV, credit-card authorisation and tokenisation offer protection of data at certain points, vulnerabilities can still exist elsewhere along the chain.

In contrast, Intel Data Protection Technology for Transactions creates a complete secure pathway between the transaction endpoint, point-of-sale (POS) system and server networks.

An end-to-end data protection solution

This comprehensive end-to-end solution aims to protect data from the moment information is shared through processing the encrypted information in secure data centres.

The software runs on secure silicon that will come embedded on second and third-generation Intel Core processors, as well as tablets with the Intel Atom processor code-named Bay Trail-T, and the full solution will be available to retailers in the US in the first half of 2015.

Intel claims this technology will work on all retail POS form factors with these Intel processors inside, including fixed and mobile devices. The system supports all modern forms of credit and debit payment, including magnetic stripe, EMV and NFC readers, such as Apple Pay.

This is significant, as security concerns have created a barrier to the adoption of internet of things technologies – an issue Intel has an obligation to address as it aims to become a key player in this space.

The hope is that Intel Data Protection Technology for Transactions will protect consumer data, prevent malware attacks, and provide retailers with a flexible and future-proof solution. 

Solutions for ATMs, airports, pharmacies and more

Following its initial roll out in the US in 2015, Intel and NCR plan to expand this technology geographically, as well as expanding its relevance across other sectors.

Initial solutions target retail transactions, but plans are already in place to follow this up with solutions for banking transaction systems, such as ATMs, as well as other transaction-based consumer-facing industries. For example, this technology could be applied in airport passport and identification handling, or in pharmacies dealing with patient prescriptions.

Basically, wherever there is data that could be of value to hackers and thieves, Intel and NCR plan to step in and offer protection.

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Intel data protection technology infographic

Credit-card transaction image by gpointstudio via Shutterstock

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.