We first discovered Hannaford in Western Mass. many years ago. We loved it immediately: they had the foods we wanted and their prices were better than the big name stores. We wished that they had a store near to us.
When we moved down to Middleboro two years ago we were delighted to find a Hannaford's here. It's a smaller store, but we find what we want and again the prices are good. We really like Hannaford.
Ah, but then this big credit card mess:
(link dead, sorry)
New retail data breach may have affected millions of Hannaford shoppers. That's upsetting, and as
Geeks Are Sexy pointed out the
way Hannaford presented its response might indicate a weak IT department.
However, we don't even know if it really was a "data breach". If Hannaford doesn't have a strong CIO, I certainly don't trust that the President or VP of Marketing has any real clue as to what really happened. For all we know, this was an inside job: someone inside their data center could have passed credit card info out or arranged an open door. This could easily have been an "invitation" rather than a breach.
Hannaford's day of shame will pass. They'll hire a CIO or at least a good outside consultant and they will shore up their defenses. But what worries me is that there are a lot of "Hannafords" out there: companies who are large enough to have data worth stealing but small enough that they may not have good security controls in place. I could spit out a few dozen names without even thinking hard: you probably drive by many just like this every day. Small chains, often regional, competing hard against their national counterparts: how many do you think have strong IT departments? I'd guess that not many do.. and that worries me, particularly as we slide toward economic hard times: when the going gets tough, criminals have even more reason to look for prey, and isn't IT often quite vulnerable to layoffs and cutbacks? You betcha: the VP of marketing probably sees IT as mostly fluff anyway.. they don't bring in money, right?
My bet is that we'll see more of this.. unfortunately.
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