TokenEx Efforts: Tulsa Company Develops Data Security Software

Article excerpt

How many times have you heard about companies coming together over a meal as the principals scribble down their thoughts on a napkin?

Here is another one of those tales: Tulsa-based TokenEx LLC was born during a brainstorming session.

"The company was formed, comically, over a cup of coffee and drawn on a napkin," said Alex Pezold, one of its founders.

Jerry Dawkins and Pezold, who operate sister company True Digital Security LLC, had been discussing ideas to remove sensitive information from their clients' office environments so they wouldn't be burdened with the risk and cost associated with handling that data.

"We determined that with a few other technologies, encryption and key management, we could offer a solution that would reduce the cost of compliance and the liability and risk of handling sensitive data sets," Pezold said.

What the pair came up with was their proprietary software, TokenEx, which focuses on using three core technologies - tokenization, encryption and key management - to remove sensitive data from customers' environments, Pezold said.

"Tokenization" makes it difficult for hackers to gain access to cardholder data, compared to older systems in which credit card numbers were stored in databases and exchanged freely over networks.

Tokenization technology can, in theory, be used with sensitive data of all kinds, including bank transactions, medical records, criminal records, vehicle driver information, loan applications, stock trading and voter registration.

"Our initial market is the payment card industry, where we convert payment card numbers in merchants' systems to tokens, or meaningless values that cannot be used to determine the original payment card number. That process significantly reduces the liability associated with those stored numbers and the annual cost of compliance required by the PCI industry," Pezold said. …

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