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Secure Credit Card Transactions using Coldfusion

Posted on 2005-04-04
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Last Modified: 2013-12-24
I have a form that I am submitting through email that requests for credit card numbers which I want sent via email to the company.  What, from your experience, is the simplest way to do this and still ensure a reasonably high sense of security for the customer.  I posted this under coldfusion because that's what I'm using, so if I have to use https, is it possible for someone to show me how.  Details are appreciated.
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Question by:Eduski
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mmc98dl1 earned 300 total points
ID: 13704299
There is a lot of things to think about when it comes to credit card numbers and security. My preferred solution is to integrate with a company like www.worldpay.com or www.secpay.com and let them do all the processing and handling of that sensitive data.  It takes away the headache.

If you are using email, there is virtually zero in the way of security. If you have no choice, then make sure the email is sent only between servers on your company network, dont send that info across the internet or any public servers as it isnt encrypted or anything.

For the form and processing pages that collect the info you should use https - I recommend getting your certificate from www.thawte.com cheaper than verisign, but does the same job.

If you are hosting this site with a hosting company they should be able to help you set up the https.  To get good instructions on how to install a certificate let us know about your system, webserver etc.

Again, I must press on you that email is NOT the way to transfer credt card details.
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by:Tacobell777
ID: 13705497
For email you can only use PGP to make it secure
And yes, email certainly is not the way to go...
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by:mrichmon
mrichmon earned 200 total points
ID: 13708715
>> sent via email to the company

There is no way that it will be secure nor that the customer will feel even remotely secure if you send via email.

In fact you or the company can get sued if you send the information via email and it gets used for fraudulent purposes since you did not take any measures to ensure the security of the data.

I beleive the law says something like "good faith effort" which means that you did the best that you took reasonable measures to secure the data.  Email does not meet this standard.

Https is a good way to go.  Also the data should be encrypted in the database that you store it in.

If your company is accepting Visa or Mastercard then realize a few things:

1) They publish a security guide which you must follow.
2) If you do not they can suspend your company from accepting visa and mastercard branded credit cards.  This i not limited to online sales.  If you are suspended it means all sales - so if your company also has a physical store and you get caught in violation of the policies you could have your whole company - online and physical prevented from using those credit cards.

Here is a link to the Visa guide:

Visa USA has instituted the Cardholder Information Security Program (CISP). Mandated since June 2001, the program is intended to protect Visa cardholder data—wherever it resides—ensuring that members, merchants, and service providers maintain the highest information security standard.
http://www.usa.visa.com/business/accepting_visa/ops_risk_management/cisp.html
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