Steve Elefant, chief information officer at Heartland Payment Systems (NYSE: HPY), one of the nation's largest payments processors, has been elected to the 2011-2013 Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) Board of Advisors.
Comprised of 21 members representing a broad range of organizations, the Board will provide strategic and technical guidance as the Council continually develops security standards and seeks to raise awareness and compliance with its guidance.
"As we continue to strengthen the standards and their adoption globally, this group will play a leading role in the protection of cardholder data against security threats worldwide," said Bob Russo, general manager, PCI SSC.
"It's an honor to be on the Board and part of such a crucial organization for the payments community, as well as merchants large and small," said Elefant. "Strong, effective security standards and industry collaboration are mission critical in our collective fight against international gangs of professional cybercriminals, and I look forward to working with my fellow Board members and the Council to help safeguard all stakeholders in the payments ecosystem."
Elefant is an industry leader in payment card security and has been at the helm of Heartland's progressive data security initiatives since he joined the company in 2008. He pioneered the company's groundbreaking E3TM end-to-end encryption technology that combines layers of physical and logical security, including tamper-resistant hardware and the application of Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) - the most secure encryption available - to encrypt sensitive data from the moment of card swipe to and through Heartland's network. A cost-effective solution, E3 provides the highest degree of payment card security currently available on the market without charging extra security fees. Heartland also protects merchants with an unprecedented E3 warranty that will reimburse a merchant's breach-related fines in the unlikely event of a data breach while using E3.
Elefant was recently named one of ComputerWorld's Premier 100 IT Leaders for 2011 and is also involved with various other groups and coalitions, including the US Secret Service Electronic Crimes Task Force, the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Infragard Electronic Crimes Task Force, the Payments Processor Information Sharing Council (PPISC) and the Secure Remote Payment Council (SRPC).
Heartland's Chief Security Officer, John South, will serve as an Alternate Advisor. South is an active member of the US Secret Service North Texas Electronic Crimes Task Force and the founding president of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's North Texas Infragard Electronic Crimes Task Force.
"I am proud of Steve and John's election to PCI Board. It's a testament to their expertise, Heartland and our E3 program," added Bob Carr, chairman and chief executive officer at Heartland.