Guest Author - Sue Walsh
Michaelís, the largest arts and crafts retailer in the U.S., is reporting that it may be the latest in a string of security breaches at major retailers. Target was the first, with over 70 million customer credit card numbers, addresses and other sensitive data having been stolen, and then luxury retailer Neiman Marcus admitted they too had let customer data be stolen. There are no details yet on just how many customers could be affected, but the company says the Secret Service is investigating.
"We are concerned there may have been a data security attack on Michaels that may have affected our customers' payment card information and we are taking aggressive action to determine the nature and scope of the issue,'' CEO Carl Rubin said in a statement provided to NBC News. "While we have not confirmed a compromise to our systems, we believe it is in the best interest of our customers to alert them to this potential issue so they can take steps to protect themselves. Throughout our 40-year history, our customers have always been our number one priority and we deeply regret any inconvenience this may cause. The privacy and security of our customersí information is of critical importance to us and we are focused on addressing this issue.Ē
The string of data breaches are leading many to wonder if major retailers are taking security as seriously as they should. Itís certainly not an easy job for them, having to protect customer data from both external threats, like hackers, and internal ones, such as dishonest current or disgruntled former employees. Itís clear that whatever they are currently doing is simply not enough considering the frequency of data breaches and the sheer volume of sensitive information they handle. When a security breach happens, consumer trust is broken almost immediately, and once a company loses it, itís very difficult to regain.
Most retailers and corporations are reporting healthy profits. It would be in their best interest to take some of them and invest in tighter, more reliable and technologically advanced security solutions.