Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Target Breach Requires Changes

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Target Breach Requires Changes

Article excerpt

When I look at the enormity and high visibility of the Target data security breach, I see an opportunity for the banking industry and the other parties in the payments system to have a real payments discussion. Any breach that affects tens of millions people is an opportunity to move toward a better, more secure payments system for everyone's benefit.

This is not the first time bankers have had to clean up after someone else's breach. And it won't be the last time if we fail to make the right kind of changes.

At my request, ABA's payments and security experts are looking at the Target breach to help us understand what happened and who should be held accountable for the clean-up. I've asked that ABA explore all the options to ensure that banks that had to cover losses or expenses are compensated for their costs.

ABA President and CEO Frank Keating has urged members of Congress to examine the circumstances of the breach and the "broader data security issues involved." We know that this is not just about banks. It's about the impact on consumers and the long-term security and viability of the payments system in general. We need a payments system that people trust.

Our ultimate goal is to protect consumers and ensure that the retail industry does its part to help provide a secure environment for our customers and theirs, and for the $3 trillion in debit and credit card transactions conducted every year. This is a shared responsibility. Our leadership as an industry on this issue will be critical--for us and for consumers.

Banks have long worked to protect consumers. …

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