Read New Net Technologies CTO Mark Kedgley’s letter to the editor in the latest issue of Retail Technology. 

In this letter, Mark discusses the issues involved concerning the possible data card theft from Staples. Retailers need to recognise that the risks have changed and that they must change their approach to defence or data theft is only going to keep happening.

Dear Editor,

News that Staples is the latest victim of possible payment card data thefts tells us that businesses still aren’t doing enough to secure their data and are clearly ignoring the operation of security best practices.

Ignorance, complacency and corner-cutting unfortunately are still the major contributors to card data theft.

Retailers – indeed, all organisations - need to recognise that the risks have changed. The threat is now stealthy and targeted.  It is time not just to pick the right battle – but to arm the business with the right defences, or data theft is only going to keep happening.

PCI DSS requirements, which spell out the steps organisations can take to improve their defences, must be taken seriously, implemented in full, and practised daily. Basic anti-virus screening, perimeter protection via firewalling backed up with monthly vulnerability scans is never going to be ‘secure enough’.

More emphasis is now needed on further measures such as continuous file integrity monitoring. This serves to ensure card handling systems are always hardened and protected against card-data-stealing malware, but also provides non-stop breach detection so that if an attack is successful, action can be taken before serious damage is done.

In adopting a methodology and culture of continuous real-time security validation, the operation of security best practices will become straightforward, inexpensive, something that merchants of any size can take in their stride, and critically give full peace of mind that systems are being actively protected at all times, 100% in line with PCI DSS requirements.

Mark Kedgley, CTO, New Net Technologies

www.nntws.com

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