Is it coincidence that Beth Jacob CIO resigned from her job as chief information officer of Target Corporation? Or could this possibly be connected to the data breach that slammed Target in December of 2013, affecting as many as 70 million customers? Being a CIO is no easy task, especially when you have thousands of criminals trying to breach your networks every minute of every day.
That’s not all. Gregg Steinhafel, Target’s former chief executive, recently lost his job with the retailer due to the data breach. He had been with the company for 35 years.
Should weaknesses in computer safety be blamed on Chief Executive Officers? Yes, because ultimately, the CEO is responsible for protecting the customer’s sensitive data. For instance, Steinhafel was at the helm when thieves hacked customer data records such as credit card information and home addresses, from the retailer’s computer system. Boards are also latching onto this issue and will be very influential in the before and after of a breach.
The company CEO isn’t just responsible for sales; this individual is responsible for security. Target’s data breach is a rude awakening for CEOs everywhere; data security breaches influence sales—very negatively—not to mention customer loyalty.
And then there’s the enormous expense of recovering from the breach and regaining customer trust. In Target’s case it rings in at $17 million thus far. And it is growing. Ultimately, the costs for everything related to the data breach is projected to soar into the billions.
The Secret Service, which is involved in the ongoing investigation, reports that it may take years to nail the hackers.
Law Enforcements motto is “Serve and Protect” and people gripe “where’s a cop when you need one” suggesting Law Enforcement is supposed to be there to protect us at all times. This misconception has created an entire culture of “its not my job/responsibility/problem”. YES. IT. IS. As a company front line employee, an officer or a CEO, security is your responsibility. Security is everyone’s responsibility.
Robert Siciliano is an Identity Theft Expert to AllClearID. He is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen See him knock’em dead in this identity theft prevention video. Disclosures.