Its common news by now that over the holiday season last year Target was the victim of a major security breach. Said breach resulted in personal as well as credit and debit card information of more than 70 million customers being stolen. The retailer confirmed that malware was present on its point of sale registers, and it apparently functioned undetected, siphoning off important data. Chief Financial Officer of Target, John Mulligan, says that the company is working on implementing a new credit card security technology which will greatly safeguard customers’ data.
Basically Target aims to utilize chip-enabled smart cards, and have the technology up and running in retail stores across the country by early 2015. Point of sale data is encrypted by these cards, which means that even if a database were to leak, it would be virtually worthless. This isn’t the first time that the company has experimented with chip-enabled cards, it did so almost ten years ago at a much greater cost, though the retailer says that back then its surveys showed “mixed results.” Target is pumping in $100 million to get this technology up and running, Target card reader and its REDcard debit and credit cards will require an update. In a bid to not permanently lose customers that would have otherwise shopped elsewhere once word of the hack got out, Target is now offering them one year of free credit monitoring and identity theft protection.