Holiday Season A Time For Increased Data Security & Diligence

29 Nov

The holiday shopping season has officially begun with the annual “Black Friday” discount day. Thousands of shoppers flock to hundreds of stores to get the best deals and get a head start on holiday gifts for their friends and family. While this is normally a cheerful time for consumers and businesses alike, the increased number of transactions puts both at risk for data breaches and fraud.

It’s been nearly a year since the well-publicized Target data breach that occurred just prior to Christmas. Of course, some consumers are concerned about how their stolen information could be used during the current holiday shopping barrage, but both businesses and consumers are hyper aware of what could happen.

Let’s not forget that Target is not the only major retailer to be the victim of a breach in recent times. Home Depot was a big story this past year, and just recently released their findings as to why the breach occurred. In the case of Home Depot it was explained that the attackers were able to gain access to the network via a third party vendor and were able to install malware that affected Home Depot’s self-checkout system.

The good news is Home Depot seemed to learn its lesson and took a variety of measures to increase data security. A few of these measures include increased encryption and EVP Chip and Pin Technology.

Target also implemented new security measures to help calm consumer concerns. They included enhanced monitoring and logging, enhanced segmentation, and limited vendor access.

If these recent breaches have taught us anything it’s that we have to be more diligent on all sides. Consumers can’t simply rely on retailers for security and retailers should ensure they’re doing their absolute best to keep customer data secure. Consumers can also use more cash than credit to make certain purchases, lessening their chance of being a victim of a breach. Retailers can more precisely monitor transactions and work with their vendors to ensure security measures are working efficiently.

Overall, it seems the recent data breaches have made both businesses and consumers more aware. Awareness is the first step to security success, after that it takes a continued dedication by retailers to monitor their systems and for consumers to monitor their financial accounts. If everyone takes data security more seriously it will make for an even merrier holiday season.