Retailer Kmart has finally joined the ranks of the many retailers that have had their digital systems attacked and breached in recent months. Joining with Home Depot, Target, Neiman Marcus, PF Chang and a host of others, Kmart becomes just the latest in the growing list of retailers targeted.
This past Friday spokespersons for Kmart announced that their system had been breached by parties unknown and the activity had been ongoing since early September. Reportedly the loss was only of credit and debit card numbers and no PINs or customer personal data was exposed. Kmart has notified government authorities and hired a private security firm to assist them in the investigation. As of yet there is no indication of the number of records exposed. To date TJX holds the record with 90 million losses, followed by Home Depot with 56 million, and Target with 40 million.
These ongoing breaches are unnerving to consumers who are beginning to wonder if the convenience of a card swipe is worth all the hassle involved with cancelling, reissuing, and receiving new credit cards. The public is also beginning to wonder what is wrong with retailers that they can’t protect the sensitive data they have been entrusted with. The US economy is in no shape to have public confidence erode as we close in on the holiday season. If they haven’t already done so…and apparently they haven’t…retailers in the US had better take a closer look at their cyber defenses and either insurance up or start hiring people who can do a better job leading their network protection. If nothing else, this may help to speed up the adoption of microchip credit cards in the US.