Friday, February 28, 2014

Target Credit Card Breach Hits the Boardroom

By Jim McFarlin

Some predictions do come true.

The question raised in this September post, Will 2013 Be the Year Cybersecurity Crashes the Party in the Boardroom? was late happening. Then on December 17th, in the midst of retail’s most critical sales season, reality crashed through Target’s boardroom in the form of one of the largest credit card heists in history.

Following the loss of credit card information belonging to 40 million customers and personal data of another 70 million customers, Target now faces massive expenditures to remedy the breach and shore up its cyber defenses to prevent repeat thefts in the future.

Dealing with such remedial action is not coming cheaply. According to the February 27th issue of The Wall Street Journal, Target’s fourth quarter profit fell from nearly a billion dollars a year earlier to just over $500 million in 2013’s fourth quarter, knocking nearly two billion dollars from its market capitalization.

But such financial shortfalls are just the beginning of Target’s troubles. Here are three more dampers on the company’s financial picture:

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

White House Bunts on Critical Infrastructure Cyber Protection

By Jim McFarlin 

The United States is engaged in a non-stop global cyber conflict. Others across the globe have declared war on America – but we have not declared war on them. America is playing defense, and when it comes to cyber conflict, that’s a losing strategy.

It’s apparent that America is losing. Cyberattacks against the U.S. have risen tenfold since 2006, and China is conducting all-out cyber espionage on our military plans and weapons designs.

Meanwhile, Islamic extremists have vowed to destroy America by whatever means it takes. Extremist groups have lacked strong cyberattack capabilities but have been clear about their plans and intentions.

What does this mean for the country?