NEW YORK (AP) - Target has hired a new chief information officer to help overhaul its data security systems in the wake of a massive pre-Christmas data breach.
NEW YORK (AP) — Target has hired a new chief information officer to help overhaul its data security systems in the wake of a massive pre-Christmas data breach.
The discounter also said that by early next year, its branded cards will have MasterCard's chip-and-PIN technology, which some experts say provides more security than traditional magnetic stripes.
The Minneapolis-based discounter said Tuesday that it named outsider Bob DeRodes, who has 40 years of experience in information technology and replaces Beth Jacob, who abruptly left in early March.
DeRodes has been a senior information technology adviser for the Center for CIO Leadership, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Secretary of Defense and the U.S. Department of Justice. He will assume oversight of the company's technology team and operations, effective May 5.
Target said it is continuing its active search for a chief information security officer and a chief compliance officer.
"Establishing a clear path forward for Target following the data breach has been my top priority," Gregg Steinhafel, Target's chairman, president and CEO, said in a statement. "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."
Target is still dealing with fallout from a massive breach that has hurt profits and sales and its reputation among shoppers who have been worried about the security of their personal data. The company disclosed on Dec. 19 that a data breach compromised 40 million credit and debit card accounts between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15. Then on Jan. 10, it said hackers stole personal information — including names, phone numbers and email and mailing addresses — from as many as 70 million customers.
In the wake of the breach, Target has been making changes, including overhauling some of its divisions that handle security and technology. The company has also been accelerating its $100 million plan to roll out chip-based credit card technology in all of its nearly 1,800 stores.
The new payment terminals will be in the stores by September, six months earlier than planned. But the company said Tuesday that beginning in early 2015, Target will be able to accept these payments from all of its Target branded credit and debit cards.
"Target has long been an advocate for the widespread adoption of chip-and PIN card technology," said John Mulligan, executive vice president, chief financial officer for Target in a statement.
While magnetic strips transfer a credit card number, chip cards use a one-time code that moves between the chip and the retailer's terminal, resulting in data that is useless except to the parties involved. They're also regarded as nearly impossible to copy, at least for now.
But naysayers say that the protections chips provide only go so far, noting that they don't prevent fraud in online commerce, where consumers still have to enter their credit card numbers. Some also point to other technologies as better long-term solutions.
In March, Visa and MasterCard announced plans to bring together banks, credit unions, retailers, makers of card processing equipment and industry trade groups in a group that aims to strengthen the U.S. payment system for credit and debit cards. The initial focus of the new group will be on banks' adoption of chip cards.
AP Technology writer Bree Fowler contributed to this report in New York.
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