5 Questions to Ask to Avoid Being the Bullseye of a Data Breach

Business, Vistage Peer Groups / 11.02.20140 comments

The hacking of 40 Million Target Shoppers over the holidays is still an unfolding travesty and other retailers like Neiman Marcus and others have likewise been affected.  It’s bad enough when hackers target your system directly, but it now appears that Target was compromised by the lack of security at its VENDORS; the very people with the largest stake in Target’s success were the unwitting pathway for the criminals who stole so much personal data!

To Target’s dismay, the news broke on Friday that the vendor in question was not a giant merchandise supplier, but a small 125 person mechanical contracting firm in Pittsburgh, PA that had done some work for several Target stores.  Hackers targeted the vendor’s system and its connection to Target’s vendor management system in order to gain access.

If you’re a C-Level decision maker, the blame for a vendor security breach will find its way to your desk as Gregg Steinhafel, the CEO of Target, is experiencing now.  I would highly recommend taking a few minutes to read a summary of the Target breach by Vistage Speaker Mike Foster who advises Vistage CEOs across the US on how to understand and manage risky information technology aspects of their businesses.  His advice may be even more critical for my Minnesota Vistage CEOs, Owner and Executive members, who have major contracts with high profile Fortune 500 companies.

itIn a recent blog post, Foster highlights 5 key questions that you should be asking your IT Staff to ensure that you understand how your business is protected.  Proactively asking these questions now will increase the odds that you won’t have to face angry customers asking you the same questions after it is too late.

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