The Target Security Breach Essay

1141 words - 5 pages

Computer crime has been an issue since the beginning of computers. Wherever there is something good, there is always someone who takes advantage of it. This can be seen in cyber crime, which has been on the rise in recent years. According to the Los Angeles Times, the median cost of computer crime to a company per year has risen from $3.8 million dollars in 2010 to $5.9 million. (Rodriguez, 2011) This suggests that computer crime is becoming an even bigger hazard to companies. A recent example of this was the data breach committed against Target in 2013.
Target is a well-known company in the retail industry with 1,778 stores as of 2012, according to the company. In December 2013, it was reported that Target had experienced a data breach that affected more than 40 million debit and credit cards used at Target over a three-week period, starting from November 27, 2013. (Grant, 2013) It was later revealed that not only were debit and credit card numbers stolen, but expiration dates, security codes, names, addresses, and phone numbers were stolen as well. (Rosenblum, 2014) There are a number of things that can be done with information, including creating replica cards to make online purchases.
Information is still coming to light about the Target data breach, as the company is still actively pursuing an investigation. It has been revealed that the hackers involved in the incident began by moving data from the Target networks to Fazio, an HVAC company that Target does business with and sends a lot of digital data to, and out to a number of servers in the U.S. and Brazil. (Mick, 2014) This made it hard to spot the attack initially because a lot data was being sent to Fazio on a regular basis. It also makes the data thieves much harder to track.
According to Greg Steinhafel, Target CEO, on December 15, 2013, it was confirmed by Target that there was in issue regarding the data and security measures were taken to ensure that the information was “safe and secure.” The next day, an investigation started onto what happened and who was involved in the breach. Three days after the confirmation of the breach, Target informed customers of the data breach, by letter from the CEO and by media, including what steps customers needed to be taken in order to protect themselves. Immediately following this, Target offered affected customers a free credit monitoring service as well as a telephone hotline. A storewide 10% discount was also offered to all customers for two days following the incident. (“Target security breach:,” 2013)
Since the breach, Target has reported more than $61 million in expenses relating to the breach. They are also undergoing many government investigations and are facing more than eighty lawsuits. Since the ordeal is relatively new, the company is unable to determine if this will impact the company long-term; however, sales following the breach have been weaker than expected. (Lobosco, 2014) It will be interesting to see what types of...

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