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4 lessons CIOs can learn from the Target breach

Jonathan Hassell | March 18, 2014
Retail giant Target made headlines after announcing that 110 million Americans were affected by a massive data breach at its stores. If you want to avoid the same fate, pay attention to these four lessons learned in the wake of the Target breach.

I will note, however, that the PIN pads and (perhaps) other payment and point-of-sale equipment at my local Target location were replaced within days of the initial breach announcement. That's a sign of an excellent technical response plan.

4. The Weakest Point in Your Security Is Something You Haven't Considered
The Target breach began with an HVAC contractor accessing a wireless network on the vulnerable side of the Target corporate firewall. It all began because something as innocuous as a thermostat wasn't functioning correctly.

Hackers and crackers are sophisticated; at this level, they're playing a long game to nail lucrative, high-value targets. They're looking where they think you're not looking.

As a CIO, it's your job to direct your teams to batten down all hatches - procedural, technical and otherwise. Provide the leadership and the ethos to make this type of watchful, deliberate security a priority.


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