Analyst: Security breach is 'alarming'


Associated Press

Posted on December 19, 2013 at 1:02 PM

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — One security analyst says it's "alarming" that Target could experience a data breach putting up to 40 million credit and debit card accounts at risk, considering all of the security the store chain has in place.

Avivah Litan of Gartner Research notes that companies like Target spend millions of dollars a year on credit card security measures. She says she thinks the theft may have been an inside job.

The incident is particularly troubling for Target because it has used its branded credit and debit cards as a marketing tool to lure shoppers with a five percent discount.

Still, Litan says she doesn't think the breach will have much of an effect on Target's sales. She says, "People care more about discounts than security."

Analyst Brian Sozzi of Belus Capital Advisors says Target has been getting more people into the stores with its discounts for using a Target-branded card. He says it's been "a big win" for Target. And he adds, "If they lose that trust, that person goes to Wal-Mart."

%@AP Links

168-a-09-(Waylon Krush (kroosh), CEO, Lunarline, in AP interview)-"a constant battle"-Waylon Krush of cyber security firm Lunarline, a consultant for both private companies and government agencies, says the Target data breach is not much different from many others. (19 Dec 2013)

<<CUT *168 (12/19/13)££ 00:09 "a constant battle"

167-a-10-(Waylon Krush (kroosh), CEO, Lunarline, in AP interview)-"an abnormal charge"-Waylon Krush of the cyber security firm Lunarline says major credit cards usually exempt cardholders from liability for unauthorized charges, but they need to respond quickly. (19 Dec 2013)

<<CUT *167 (12/19/13)££ 00:10 "an abnormal charge"

GRAPHICSBANK: Customer uses electronic verification system at Target store, on texture, partial graphic (19 Dec 2013)

APPHOTO MASR102: This Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013 photo shows a Target retail chain logo on the exterior of a Target store in Watertown, Mass. Target says that about 40 million credit and debit card accounts may have been affected by a data breach that occurred just as the holiday shopping season shifted into high gear. (AP Photo/Steven Senne) (19 Dec 2013)

<<APPHOTO MASR102 (12/19/13)££