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Rob Jones
Written by Rob Jones
May 22, 2018

TLS 1.2 Update: What You Need to Know Before June 30, 2018

On June 30, 2018, a new PCI compliance standard will go into effect requiring a mandatory update to TLS 1.2.

This new security standard will have significant impact on electronic payment processing across many industries, including in hospitality and foodservices. 

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Making preparations for this change in compliance policy is critical. Here’s an overview to help you understand the reasons for the change, some of the next steps to take, and what Vivonet is doing to help our customers make the transition. 

What is TLS? 

TLS stands for Transport Layer Security, a protocol first introduced in the 1990s. It was developed as an improved method of securely connecting and authenticating two systems during the transfer of data, and takes the place of SSL (secure socket layer) encryption technology. 

These security and encryption protocols were originally developed as the internet itself was evolving and as cryptographic algorithms became necessary to protect the integrity of transferred data. The evolution of these security protocols is important as organizations require more stringent safeguards to protect customer and transactional information. 

Why is it important to prepare for TLS 1.2?  

To stay PCI compliant and to continue to process payments securely, organizations must upgrade their systems to TLS 1.2. There are no patches for early iterations of TLS or SSL that will guard against potential breaches, most notably from exploits that allow attackers to intercept and extract data from secure connections.  

Breaches that do occur due to non-compliance could consequently result in fines, or may also result in an inability to process electronic transactions at all. TLS 1.2 is the best solution to an updated layer of security in an era when breaches are on the rise. But it's also recommended as a means of making sure systems are well within the requirements for PCI compliance. 

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What is Vivonet doing for our customers and partners? 

We have been actively updating our customer base over the past number of months by undertaking many of the following steps:

  • Remotely upgrading Vivonet Cloud POS software to compliant version
  • Updating necessary operating system components 
  • Updating middleware software
  • Working closely with our payment processor, gateway, and middleware partners to understand and then help our customers put these requirements into a meaningful context

These new requirements for PCI compliance are essential to ensure the safety of customer data and to ensure your business doesn't suffer a disruption in operations due to non-compliance.

What else should Vivonet customers do to prepare?

While Vivonet is taking appropriate action to ensure our customers are prepared for the TLS 1.2 deadline, it's important that you take the following two steps as well:

Ensure Vivonet Terminals are Online

It's important that any offline terminals be brought online so that remote updates can be applied. Any offline terminals that are activated after the deadline date will not be compliant, and will not be capable of processing transactions.

Contact Your Payment Processor

Your payment processor is a key ally in ensuring your entire system is compliant with new TLS 1.2 protocols. If you have not yet done so, please contact your payment processor to ensure your payment systems have the necessary updates applied. 

Further resources on TLS 1.2 upgrades 

For more details about upgrading to TLS 1.2, consult the PCI Security Standards Council’s Migrating from SSL and Early TLS  supplement which you can view here. 

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