Verizon Communication Inc. will operate as an approved Qualified Security Assessor for certifying client's payment networks for the Payment Card Industry data security standards.

Verizon Enterprise Solutions has added point-to-point encryption and payment application certification to its list of PCI-DSS qualifications, the company announced Nov. 5.

With these capabilities, Verizon says it can now certify client systems that solely handle financial transactions, rather than having to certify an entire company.

The PCI point-to-point encryption standard focuses on secure devices, applications and processes that encrypt data from the point of interaction (for example, when a card is swiped) until it reaches the provider's secure decryption environment.

Verizon's annual PCI compliance report "found that too many businesses struggle to comply with payment card security standards, putting consumers' confidential information at risk," Rodolphe Simonetti, managing director of Verizon's Payment Card Industry Services, states in a press release.

PCI point-to-point certification focuses "purely on the money path" of a network, providing businesses a quicker and more cost-effective way to achieve PCI-DSS compliance, New York-based Verizon says.

Verizon Wireless operates the wireless network for more than 101 million retail connections nationwide, the company says.

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