The lack of a federal standard and internal accountability were cited as barriers to cybersecurity at a Senate hearing Wednesday.
Facing persistent interrogation from Sen. John D. Rockefeller (D., W. Va.), chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation, Target Corp. executive vice president and chief financial officer John Mulligan acknowledged that “multiple teams” reporting to “several different executives” within the Minneapolis-based discounter’s organization bore collective responsibility for the security of consumer data collected by the store at the time of the 2013 breaches.
“That worries me,” said Rockefeller, acknowledging that Beth Jacob, Target’s former chief information officer, had been cast with much of the blame for the breach, which compromised payment card information from 40 million customers and personal data from another 70 million.
“It has to come down to a point, a source point,” Rockefeller shot back, “and I think it has to be the board of directors and the chief executive officer. And then you can scatter responsibility however you want to.”
Mulligan outlined steps taken by Target since discovery and revelation of the breach on Dec. 19. It’s accelerated its $100 million investment in chip and PIN technology, aiming to get 10,000 guest payment devices into stores by September, six months earlier than originally planned, and begin rolling out chip-laden cards to consumers early next year.
Among the steps taken to prevent a recurrence of a breach, Mulligan said Target had fortified its antivirus and antimalware protections by speeding up the installation of “whitelisting” software, which weeds out all but desired programs, on its registers.
Ellen Richey, chief enterprise risk officer for Visa Inc., said she was encouraged by the growing acceptance of the chip-and-PIN system brought on by the breach at Target, Neiman Marcus and other stores. With liability for such breaches set to shift in October 2015 from financial institutions to merchants, she said she was “hopeful” for substantial adoption in the months ahead.
Enforcing cyber-breach laws and punishing violators has been complicated by a patchwork of state regulations. Asked if a federal law, like the statute introduced by Rockefeller, would be preferable to the current system, all six witnesses at the hearing agreed it would be. In addition to Mulligan, Richey and Edith Ramirez, chairwoman of the Federal Trade Commission, the speakers were David Wagner, president of Entrust Inc.; Peter Beshar, executive vice president and general counsel of Marsh & McLennan, and Wallac Loh, president of the University of Maryland, which recently experienced a data breach of its own.
Rockefeller noted that executives from social media application Snapchat, another recent breach target, had been invited to testify but declined.
“My instincts, which may be skewed, are nevertheless that they’re hiding something,” Rockefeller said.
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty