Target Bolsters Information Security Systems

Target Corp. is hoping its newly hired chief information officer Bob DeRodes and its plan to switch its in-house payment cards to a more secure chip-and-PIN system from MasterCard Inc. will help it avoid another massive data breach.

The Minneapolis retail giant has made deep changes to its information security systems ever since cyber-criminals broke in during the holiday season last year and made off with data from up to 110 million customers.

On Tuesday, the chain said that DeRodes would step into his new position overseeing digital safety enhancements on May 5.

His resume includes stints advising the secretary of Defense and the departments of Homeland Security and Justice as well as technology roles at Citibank, Delta Air Lines and Home Depot.

His predecessor, Beth Jacob, stepped down last month. Target said it continues to search for a chief information security officer and a chief compliance officer.

The company also said Monday that it will switch its credit and debit REDcards to MasterCard's system from Visa Inc.'s early next year.

The new cards will store data on a more secure system that uses embedded chips and personal identification numbers rather than magnetic strips -- the current norm.

Target said earlier this year that it will invest $100 million to speed up its move to the so-called chip-and-PIN setup.

The company said it will have new payment readers and accompanying software in all of its nearly 1,800 U.S. stores in September, six months ahead of its original schedule.

Target has already tried to buffer its data security by resetting passwords for 445,000 employees and contractors while disabling many vendor accounts and reducing access privileges for others.

The retailer is not alone in struggling through the consequences of a breach. In recent months, arts supply chain Michaels Stores Inc. and department store company Neiman Marcus Group indicated that they were targeted...

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