Since 2007’s TJX breach of almost 100 million customers’ data, which cost the retailer $256 million in recovery, security has been steadily moving toward the boardroom. Security is becoming a key initiative for not only the CIO, but also the CFO, CMO, and today’s announcement that Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel has resigned following the massive fallout from their data breach, signals security has arrived as a boardroom topic, for good.

Financial Services companies, driven by continued criminal innovation and regulatory oversight, have had security as a boardroom topic for the last few years. This week’s FS-ISAC annual summit, which Target is rumored to attend, is evidence that with diligence and security as a key priority, like-minded organizations can work together to leverage data sharing and analysis to thwart the security threats that evolve faster than any one team can manage independently.

At Agari, we have wondered when this commitment to leveraging big data analysis to power threat detection and prevention, would arrive for other verticals. As we work with Financial Services companies, we consistently advocate and witness companies stepping up to their role of participating with the security community to engage against cybercrime with the goal of protecting every customer. We are excited now to see change afoot for other industries.

For every industry, and retail in particular, today is a pivotal day that signals a new role for security. When faced with the following stakes…

  • High stakes from targeted criminal attacks
  • Consumer awareness of digital security and risk
  • Purchase intent based on security practices
  • Regulatory oversight

…every boardroom should take inventory to evaluate and adjust their security strategy and practices.

As best described by Verizon’s just released Data Breach Investigations Report,“Certain sectors will always skew higher in the victim count given their attractiveness to financially motivated actors — i.e., those that store payment card or other financial data. But even discounting that, we don’t see any industries flying completely under the radar. And that’s the real takeaway here — everyone is vulnerable to some type of event.”

With Target’s announcement today, do you agree security will gain a more prominent role in the boardroom?