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Somehow 2014 is fast becoming the year of the breach. After high-profile data breaches at Target, Neiman Marcus and Michaels, it seems the hunt is on for customer data.
And it’s not just the brick-and-mortar retailers that are in the bull’s-eye of malware proprietors. Online crowdfunding darling Kickstarter has also fallen victim to a big-time data breach, according to a report from The Verge.
While the hackers didn’t access credit card data like in the other retailer attacks, “hackers did gain access to usernames, email addresses, mailing addresses, phone numbers, and encrypted passwords.”
The company announced the data breach on Saturday, Feb. 15, after it was alerted by government authorities on Thursday, Feb. 13.
The rash of data breaches hitting retailers is sparking dialogue and action nationwide.
“Retail companies individually and the industry collectively, are making substantial investments in the technology and experts needed to aggressively counter these threats,” writes Sandy Kennedy, president of the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), in a recent statement. “Retailers utilize ever-evolving techniques and tactics such as data encryption, tokenization, and redundant internal controls to both ward off attacks and reduce the impact of any successful cybersecurity attack.”
The association launched its Cybersecurity and Data Privacy Initiative last month in response to the cyberwarfare waged against major retailers at the start of the year. If successful, this initiative will hasten the retirement of the magnetic stripe technology that the United States still uses for its credit cards, require that every credit and debit card be issued a PIN, establish a road map for deploying chip-based payment cards, and identify new technology and solutions to combat ongoing threats.
Additionally, the Obama administration issued a cybersecurity framework that aims to help businesses better store and secure customer data to defend against such attacks.