Blog: Decoding RKL: Inside ATM Cryptography and Our Comprehensive Security Solution

May 24, 2018  |  MIGUEL ALVAREZ

Welcome to the amazing world of cryptography!

That was the first thing I told myself when we started the Remote Key Loading (RKL) project in 2006. My knowledge about cryptography at that time was limited to symmetric cryptography, which encrypts sensitive information exchanged between two parties using the same key to encrypt and decrypt—you may know it as a “secret key” or “private key.”

In the analysis phase of this new project, however, we had to dive into the world of asymmetric cryptography, in which separate, disparate keys are used for the encryption and decryption processes—this is also referred to as a “public key” and is used in Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol, RSA keys, digital signatures, certificates and so on. This new aspect of cryptography, with its additional complexities (and the ability not only to encrypt sensitive information but also to enable secure digital signing of information) was incredibly intriguing to me.

When we initially integrated our original RKL solution with our first customer and the first pilot was installed in 2007, we never thought the solution would go on to be installed by more than 30 customers around the world, with more than 85,000 terminal licenses sold. Our customers appreciated the protocol-agnostic aspect of the solution—it doesn’t depend on the switch/host platform, the ATM application, or protocols like NDC and 91x. They also loved the fact that it supports EPPs from nearly every major ATM vendor, and enables more devices to be integrated on demand.

Since that first RKL solution implementation, the ATM ecosystem has changed a great deal. Our latest RKL solution continues to optimize and improve our customers’ security processes, enabling them to comply with current and future security requirements. Today it fully integrates with new EPP devices that comply with the latest PCI revisions (version 1, 2.1 and 3), and evolves along with PCI revisions, so we’re fully prepared for version 4.

We recently introduced a new brochure that explains our RKL solution in great detail, with information to help you make the most informed decision about how to manage your ATM keys:

Solutions like RKL are necessarily in a state of continuous evolution, and we love hearing from our customers with their comments and suggestions. Cryptography is all around us, driving connected commerce and securing communications inside our computers, smartphones, communications networks and so much more—it’s truly fascinating. I hope you enjoy the amazing world of cryptography as much as I do! If you have questions, or want to find out more about how the right cryptographic implementations can secure your network, don’t hesitate to reach out.

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