Yesterday, Target agrees to pay $10 million to settle lawsuit from 2013 data breach, (Reuters, 3/19/2015). They are further required to appoint a Chief Information Security Officer who was named today. It will be Brad Maiorino coming from G.M. to fill the newly created position. This was due to the much publicized attack that took place in November of 2013. Estimates were that 40 million credit cards were compromised and that as many as 110 million people’s personal information including e-mail addresses and phone numbers were stolen. That impacts nearly 1 of every 3 people in the United States! I know what you are thinking, because it is the same thing I was thinking. Target is a huge corporation and $10 million is equivalent to a slap on the wrist for a corporation that had over $72 billion in revenue last year. True, however that is only the beginning of what this really cost. Major credit card companies and banks have issued warnings and provided new cards to their customers who had made purchases at the retailer. The United States Secret Service and Department Of Justice opened investigations. Mortgages and car sales were impacted from plunging credit ratings due to identity theft, and the list goes on. For Target, their revenue dipped 5% attributed to the breach prompting Beth Jacob, who held the title of Chief Information Officer and Executive Vice President For Technology Services, to leave the company after 12 years of service. Next, It was Gregg Steinhafel, the Chief Executive Officer of Target that stepped down. True cost when taking into account lost revenue, legal fees, settlement fees, data security contractors, customer sentiment, and the $10 million settlement could be over $1billion for Target.
The difference between Target and the hundreds of thousands of small to medium sized businesses in the U.S., is target can afford to weather this type of storm. For the Mom and Pop companies that drive the United States Economy, many cannot. It is long past time that companies look at data security as much as a necessity as locks on the doors, alarm systems, security cameras, and security guards at their businesses. Companies like SimpleWan can provide that data security that is desperately needed on any budget. Can be viewed at www.simplewan.com.