Target Hires New CIO After Data Breach

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Target appoints a veteran CIO to oversee security and technology at the giant US retailer

Target has appointed a new Chief Information Officer (CIO) in an attempt to restore customer confidence following a highly damaging and very public data breach that resulted in the resignation of Beth Jacob as CIO in March

The company had revealed that its profits were down 46 percent and revenue down 5.3 percent following the breach, but hopes the appointment of Bob DeRodes will turn things round.

New CIO

BobDeRodesDeRodes is a veteran US government adviser, and was formerly a senior IT adviser for the US Department of Homeland Security, Secretary of Defense, and the Justice Department. He has also served in positions at CitiBank, USAA Federal Savings Bank, First Data, Home Depot and Delta Air Lines.

“In his role, DeRodes will assume oversight of the Target technology team and operations, with responsibility for the ongoing data security enhancement efforts as well as the development of Target’s long-term information technology and digital roadmap,” said the company, adding that it was continuing its 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,” said Gregg Steinhafel, Target chairman, president and chief executive officer 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. Bob’s history of leading transformational change positions him well to lead our continued breach responses and guide our long-term digital strategy.”

“I look forward to helping shape information technology and data security at Target in the days and months ahead,” said DeRodes. “It is clear to me that Target is an organisation that is committed to doing whatever it takes to do right by their guests.”

Huge Breach

Target reported on 19 December that about 40 million payment card accounts were hacked during the pre-Christmas shopping season. Later, in an update, it said that about 70 million customers also may have had their addresses, phone numbers and other information compromised.

The problems started when thieves broke into the point-of-sale (POS) system at Target in the October-November 2013 time frame. At that time, they stole the data from the magnetic stripes on the back of credit and debit cards. Target, like virtually all other stores in the United States, depends on that information on the magnetic stripe to read all the relevant credit card information to make a sale.

The retailer is now planning to incorporate the MasterCard chip-and-PIN technology across its REDcard portfolio.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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