Payment transaction security company Thales ceases operations in Russia

The French company Thales, which provides protection for payment transactions and the security of payment systems, has announced its withdrawal from the Russian market, Forbes writes citing a company representative.

Thales creates high-tech products and services in several areas: digital identity and security, military, aerospace and transportation industries. Including the company ensured the security of 20 Russian banks, the newspaper notes. For banks, Thales produced hardware security modules (HSMs) that are installed in ATMs to protect and encrypt user data. They are protected from unauthorized access, physical opening, removal of information by technical means. HSMs provide security for operations such as PIN verification, payment transactions, payment card issuance, and encryption key management. According to the company, more than 80% of the world’s payment card transactions are carried out using the Thales HSM module.

Russian banks tend to use Thales modules. They are also produced by Russian companies CryptoPro and Infotecs. The cost of such modules starts from 3 million rubles.

The list of banks using Thales HSM modules is not disclosed by the company. But according to data on the public procurement website, Sberbank, VTB, Rosselkhozbank, the All-Russian Regional Development Bank and the West Siberian Commercial Bank can be the company’s clients, Forbes specifies. Thales itself reported on its website about cooperation with Alfa-Bank.

At the April 15 meeting of the Central Bank with banks and developers of information security solutions, the issue of the need to promptly replace foreign HSM modules with domestic ones was discussed, Kommersant wrote.

Like almost all software solutions and equipment, HSM modules were subject to sanctions restrictions. In this regard, foreign sellers stopped supplying new modules to Russia and disabled access to updates for previously purchased ones. At the same time, the transition to domestic modules can take from several months to several years, since now the Russian market simply does not have the required number of devices.

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