How Did Target Lose 40 Million Credit Cards – The Card Swipe Explained

Speaking to Business Leaders in Chicago

This afternoon I’ll be speaking to business and IT leaders in Chicago.  My Goal is to provide some insight as to what they should expect in 2014.  Cybercrime trends are growing, not shrinking, as I told CBS in an interview last week. Target is just one great example of what can happen to a company who is not watching every transaction.  Chances are, one of their own IT people, just weeks before the attack, was heard saying something like, “We’ve got if covered.”

Target Upgrades their Attack

Just yesterday, Target upgraded this attack from 40 million credit cards to 110 million potential customers – including 40 million credit card numbers taken through a software swipe as described above, and a database hack siphoning off names, addresses, and email information from about 70 Million customers.

CNN/Money notes that there may be overlap – and there probably is. They also suggested that this might suddenly be the largest hack yet in retain history.

The Fall Out

People can drone on about how, “Customers won’t be held liable for the fraudulent charges,” all they  want, but the numbers don’t lie.  We all know what Black Friday is – it’s the day retailers hope to go from “In the Red” to “In the Black” for the year…  Yesterday’s report went something like this:

  • Target: Sales dropped 6% (this is top line revenue sales).
  • Profits: Cut by 20% (this is major)

Who knows what their final income statement looks like…but I’m sure investors won’t be all that happy.

2014 Should be Interesting

What else will I cover today?  There’s lots to think about as we look out over the coming 11 months of 2014.  Cloud momentum is picking up, BYOD projects are in just about every mid and large size company (even those who said they would never do it), and the “Internet of Things” is accelerating – everything seems to be online these days, collaborative software (including Google+ HOA) opens up all kinds of data-leakage challenges, and mobility and mobile payments are here to stay.  I’ll be covering the affects of these, where companies are going wrong, and what business leaders must do to change the tide.

© 2014, David Stelzl


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