nuBridges Delivers Format Preserving Tokenization for IBM i
October 12, 2010 Alex Woodie
nuBridges last week unveiled a new tokenization product for IBM i that preserves the original format of the data after it’s been “tokenized” with characters that mean nothing. Dubbed Format Preserving Tokenization for IBM i, the new feature is available as an option with nuBridges Protect for IBM i, which provides encryption and tokenization capabilities natively on the IBM i platform.
Tokenization, which replaces sensitive data with meaningless surrogate values or tokens, is becoming an increasingly popular form of data protection as companies look to reduce the possibility of losing valuable data, as well as complying with new laws like PCI. Tokenization is touted as a good alternative to encryption in several situations, such as when a company needs access to sensitive data from multiple locations (tokens can be distributed in a hub-and-spoke model, thereby removing the remote locations from PCI audits), and when a company needs to test its applications with some real data (encrypted data is worthless for testing purposes).
nuBridges is one of the leaders in pushing for tokenization, not only on the IBM i, but in the IT industry as a whole, where Gary Palgon has spearheaded a push for tokenization standards. To that end, nuBridges has offered tokenization on several platforms, and with last week’s format-preserving tokenization announcement, the company now supports all of the tokenization features on the IBM i server.
The main benefits of format-preserving tokenization are a reduced requirement for programming modifications, as well as the elimination of PCI DSS compliance audits when tokenization is being used.
When nuBridges generates format-preserving tokens to take the place of a piece of sensitive data, the new format-preserving tokens maintain the exact length and format of the original data they represent. That means database fields originally developed to hold a 16-digit credit card number doesn’t suddenly become 18 digits long, letters don’t suddenly become numbers or other special characters, and vice versa.
Customers can also choose to show some of the real data with the new software. We’ve extended it with choices for configuration on how tokens are generated,” Palgon says. “Many organizations want to preserve the first two or four or six digits as part of their configuration for credit card tokenization.”
Format Preserving Tokenization for IBM i is available now as an option with nuBridges Protect for IBM i. For more information, see www.nubridges.com.