By Megan Zielinski, contributing writer
Target recently announced plans toward security enhancements, including implementing use of MasterCard technologies for its current REDcard system. The corporation also introduced newly-appointed technology leader for the company, Bob DeRodes, to lead future security operations.
As of early 2015, Target’s $100 million investment will transform the entire REDcard network into a chip-and-PIN solution provided by MasterCard. All Target-branded credit and debit cards and REDcard products will be chip-and-PIN secured. “Target and MasterCard are taking an important step forward in providing consumers with a secure shopping experience, and the latest in payments technology, “ states Chris McWilton, president, North American Markets for MasterCard. “Our focus, together with Target, is on safety and security.”
Chip cards contain an embedded microchip holding encrypted information, providing for secure transactions and other capabilities compared to traditional magnetic stripe cards. As MasterCard states, “A chip card is virtually impossible to counterfeit.” Chip-enabled payment terminals, scheduled to be placed 6 months ahead of schedule in all 1,797 Target stores by September, will identify the coding on chip cards, determining its reliability. To add a next step of security, card holders enter their PIN to complete transactions.
Chip cards are relatively new in the U.S. As more retailers become concerned with company security, Target’s use of the chip-and-PIN system may pressure other retailers to switch to the more advanced solution.
Following the company data breach, Target has amplified security throughout the corporation in areas, including overall improvements in monitoring and logging capabilities; installation of whitelisting POS systems; better POS management tools with execution of firewall; control of vendor access and accounts; heightening security of existing employee and contractor accounts through password reset and rules. Last month, Target teamed up with non-profit private sector, Financial Service Information Sharing & Analysis Center, to help prevent, detect, and respond to any potential fraudulent activity in the future.
By May 5, DeRodes is expected to oversee and lead development of future security solutions for Target. “Establishing a clear path forward for Target following the data breach has been my top priority. I believe Target has a tremendous opportunity to take the lessons learned from this incident and enhance our overall approach to data security and information technology. Bob’s history of leading transformational change positions him well to lead our continued breach responses and guide our long-term digital strategy,” states Gregg Steinhafel, Target chairman, president and CEO.
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