Target is one of the largest retailers in the United States. The store has nearly 1800 stores in the United States and another 124 in Canada. It experienced a large security breach that took place from November 27 through December 15. There were close to 40 million accounts that were accessed.
The theft involved the information that is stored on the back of the card, inside the magnetic stripe. This left millions of people’s information vulnerable. Credit card processing is always risky business and many companies, large and small, are under-prepared for any kind of security breach.
The security breach was done online, not at one of the locations. While many of the credit card companies were asked about the event, they all pointed back to the Target Corporation to explain what happened.
Merchant accounts need to be aware of the breach as soon as possible to get information to the customers that were affected and ensure that a second breach doesn’t occur. The information that was collected could have resulted in many people’s credit card information falling into the wrong hands. People could have seen a number of charges on their credit cards that they did not authorize.
While credit card merchant accounts are protected with fraud protection, it can still be a long and drawn out process for those accounts as well as the account holders. New cars with new numbers have to be re-issued to all who were affected by the breach.
All it takes is one issue within a company’s security to allow a security breach and this is what happened with Target. Many people like to think that by shopping at larger retailers they don’t have to worry about such thing, but that was not the case.
Target has since identified the issue and resolved it to avoid future problems. Credit card processing needs to have security measures to keep the customers safe.
The breach allowed the thieves to create artificial credit cards with the numbers. If pins were intercepted, it would also allow them to withdraw money at the ATM machines. Recently, a couple was found in the airport with 96 credit cards containing numbers associated with the Target credit card data. The cards likely would be unable to work at this point because of banks reissuing new cards to people.
All merchants have to crack down on the information to prevent thieves from stealing customer data, as what happened with Target.