Data breach fallout continues, what’s coming in 2015?

Chip-and-PIN (EMV) technology
Chip-and-PIN (EMV) technology

(CNN) – Months after hackers cracked into Target’s systems and put the data of millions of shoppers at risk, the retailer is still dealing with how to avoid similar breaches in the future. They’re not the only retailer making those moves.

The data breach that compromised the payment and personal information of up to 110 million customers during retail’s peak season is still shaking up Target and pushing other retailers to avoid similar situations.

On Wednesday, Target announced an overhaul of the way they handle information security. The news included the departure of the company’s current tech chief, and the search outside current ranks for three new positions related to data security improvements.

Meanwhile, the industry as a whole has been looking at solutions to thwart cybercrime, including some of the technology showed at a recent briefing by the National Retail Federation.

“We think that one of the most important elements of this debate is understanding how, how card technology is working or, or not working to protect the, the, the in integrity of, of account numbers,” David French, National Retail Federation Senior Vice President said.

Most of the improvements focus on the chip-and-PIN (EMV) technology used by many countries outside of the U.S., where the swipe-and-sign method is used. But the switch would be costly to retailers and financial service providers and would obviously take some time. Both Mastercard and Visa have outlined roadmaps to implement chip-and-PIN technology by October 2015.

“Unlike magnetic stripe transactions, where typically only the card’s track 2 data containing the card number and validity dates is processed, every chip card transaction contain dozens of pieces of information to be exchanged between the card, the terminal and the acquiring bank’s host,” states CreditCall’s website.

In the meantime, consumers should take their own precautions to protect credit and debit card information — and stay prepared to respond quickly to another data theft scenario.

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