Retailers: Still Putting Our Identity At Risk

LabeledSmartCard As the year and the holiday shopping season comes to a close, I am shocked and dismayed at US retailers.  Earlier this week, I happened upon this news article detailing how few retailers are using the new EMV or chip cards.  The part that made me really angry is that many have new equipment but aren’t using the more secure chip feature. Apparently, they haven’t learned the lesson of Target, Home Depot and countless others regarding identity theft.

Even more infuriating with the survey that the article was based on.  If you can believe it, Toys-R-US has terminals with the chip card slot but has not begun using it chain-wide.  Now for the Christmas season, I would have thought that Toys-R-US – AT LEAST – would have been one of the chains that really wanted to use it.  I mean, Christmas is for buying toys…and you’d think that they are a fairly big target for “the bad guys” given that.

While some may whine about the challenges of swapping out the software to use the new chip feature, but I just don’t buy it.  While traveling just over the boarder to Vancouver BC earlier this year, I was met with a slightly condescending “oh, you have a swipe card?”.  So clearly every business in Canada is fully implemented.  Additionally, this isn’t something that just popped up on the radar recently.  I wrote about this topic back in May 2014 (nearly 18 months ago!).  So there has been plenty of time for businesses to get on-board.

My suspicion is that businesses regard this as “just another regulation that we must comply with” and therefore they drag their feet.  Instead, they should realize that this is a significant security measure (not a “silver bullet”, but a good security measure nonetheless).  I think this goes back to another article recently that highlighted that some CEO’s aren’t even briefed on security issues.  When will the US wake up and take security seriously?

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Veteran technology professional and manager

Posted in Security

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