Attacks/Breaches

Target CIO's Resignation: 7 Questions

After the data breach, why didn't the buck stop with PCI assessors or CEO? Search for accountability reveals flawed system, much finger-pointing.

Former Target CIO Beth Jacob
Former Target CIO Beth Jacob

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Laurianne
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/10/2014 | 2:40:52 PM
Re: Where is the CEO's responsibility?
Who would you put in charge of security if not the CIO?
ThomasW784
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ThomasW784,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/10/2014 | 2:07:13 PM
Re: Where is the CEO's responsibility?
Yes, JREY146's post is the article that Information Week should have written.

Target decided as a matter of business strategy to run the risk of customers' data loss rather than incur the cost of duely diligent security. 

OK, part of being in the C-suite (CIO in this case) means falling on your sword, or agreeing to be pushed on it. But this is classic scapegoating. Candidates to fill the CIO position will want to ask whether Target is going to give data security higher priority than before, and whether they'll spend the money to make it so.

It's also time for the rest of the e-commerce world (banks, credit card companies, regulators...) to admit that core data losses are a different kind of problem, not the same as the slow trickle of individual identity compromises, and stop treating all data losses as just the cost of being in this business.
marylori
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marylori,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/10/2014 | 3:08:20 AM
Garcinia Cambogia Pro
 

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JFREY146
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JFREY146,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/9/2014 | 4:10:48 PM
Where is the CEO's responsibility?
Isn't it the CEO's responsibility to run the company?  For years Cybersecurity has been on the forefront, when are CEOs and their C-suite pals going to wake up and realize that putting the CIO in charge of information security is like bringing an Accountant to a murder trial?  Information Security is not a tehcnical problem, it is a business problem and should have a strategy that aligns with the business along with representation at the C level.  Additionally, boards of directors are ultimately responsible for the business (with delegation to the CEO).  They should be demanding these organziational alignments, regular updates, etc.  Doing all this will not stop the breaches 100%, but it will make them much more secure than they are now...
NielH146
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NielH146,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/7/2014 | 5:18:50 PM
Re: Retail IT security woes
If you think she resigned of her own choice, you are kidding yourself.  This was not about taking accountability, this is about Target firing her under the guise of her resignation. 

 
MyW0r1d
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MyW0r1d,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/7/2014 | 10:30:46 AM
Re: Retail IT security woes
As long as they "are" smart CIOs.  She had a long history with Target, back to 1984 if I recall her bio correctly, a degree in retail sales and MBA which means she knew the retail industry from Target's point of view and it is important to provide a path for your best employees.  That does not always translate however to being able to manage and fully understand technology's risks/security.  30 years in the same company also promotes tunnel vision.  In smaller companies, you might be able to get away with running on autopilot (as one of my bosses once said, promoted beyond his level of competence) but as one of the largest, leading retailers they should have had a CIO with CIO credentials.  Hiring CISO and audit/compliance professionals is a step in right direction, after leaving the barn door open.
WKash
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WKash,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/6/2014 | 5:07:04 PM
Assessors
You raise a good point about the PCI assessors. Not holding assessors accountable in some way is the moral equivalent of letting an auditing firm off the hook in the face of corporate fraud. Hopefully enterprises haven't forgotten the lesson of Enron and Arhur Andersen.  Now that government sector is embracing third party assessors with FedRAMP, the role of IT / security assessors is likely to become more important (and probably more competitive.)  In the meantime, it's hard to believe Target is only now looking to hire a CISO.  Just goes to show,  risk management still doesn't prepare you for Black Swan events.

 
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Ninja
3/6/2014 | 4:45:18 PM
Re: Retail IT security woes
Is may be worth asking why other CIOs have remained in their jobs after major breaches. After all, this is hardly the first massive data breach or organization that has been compromised.
Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Ninja
3/6/2014 | 3:56:59 PM
Re: Retail IT security woes
Personally I find it refreshing to see a leader take ownership of what happened on her watch. Is it fair? Well, as we all know, life isn't fair. But the US could do with more accountability by top leaders.
Laurianne
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/6/2014 | 3:19:18 PM
Retail IT security woes
Don't go into retail? If the smart CIOs walk away from retail, we're in trouble. Turnaround experts have an opportunity here, right?
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