What's Going On with Data Security? | TechWell

What's Going On with Data Security?

It seems like every day we are hearing about more security breaches. Whether it is Target's losing credit card information of more than 110 million Americans or Yahoo’s data breach, in which the company lost user passwords and usernames, one has to wonder what is going on with data security. Let’s take a look at what happened and why it’s happening more frequently.

First, let’s dive into Target’s breach. The most comprehensive look at what happened can be found on latinpost.com. The publication targets as the culprit Performance Assurance, a BMC Software tool used to manage Microsoft Servers. This hasn’t yet been confirmed by Target as the company continues its forensic investigation.  

So what did the hackers get away with data-wise? Forbes.com states in an article that they may have data as far back as ten years ago. The writer states that she had not purchased anything since 2004, and Target confirmed to her that data might have been stolen. For its part, Target has been forthcoming with information.

The company has set up a data breach FAQ on its website for customers. However, some customers still disagree with Target's handling of the situation since it took the business almost nineteen days to discover and disclose the breach.

Target is not alone on the data-breach front. Yahoo is the most recent big name to face data-security issues. Yahoo has stated that its breach was caused by a third-party vendor issue, as this post on darkreading.com describes. This isn’t the first time that Yahoo has had issues with a data breach; they had a similar issue in 2012.

There are other reports lately from other companies such as Nieman Marcus that have also had data breaches; they are just not on the scale of Target’s loss.

So, are these companies making news because of their size and the fact that it’s big news when big companies have big problems? A PCWorld report points out that there were more than 156 data breaches in the retail and restaurant industry in 2012 alone. I would assume that the number in 2013 would be either close to or greater than that.

Where does this leave us? Do you feel confident that your data is secure when you go to a retailer? What can be done to address this issue or is this just the price of being connected?

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