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Target data breach shows need for comprehensive fraud protection

Jan 07, 2014 Dave King

Protecting payment portals is an important part of operating any modern retail outlet. Not only are consumers using a larger variety of transaction sources than ever before, but cybercriminals and fraudsters are stepping up their efforts to take advantage of unprotected payment points.

This fact was highlighted recently when national retail chain Target announced it had been the subject of a massive data breach. According to USA Today, Target stated that up to 40 million consumer credit card accounts may have been compromised between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15, the source noted.

That was the start of the lucrative holiday season, one of the most important periods for American retailers. With so many shoppers potentially impacted, Target could see their reputation and sales take a hit as a result. As consumer trust erodes in the wake of a data breach, businesses can see the bottom line negatively affected. This is why having the right fraud protection in place is essential.

Business of all sizes at risk
However, this issue is not confined only to large corporations such as Target. Mike Donovan, a breach expert with Beazley Breach Response, told USA Today that even small businesses are often the subject of such cyberattacks.

"We see breaches across all sizes of companies," Donovan told the source. "You see the stories about the big ones in the news, but breaches are affecting companies all across the board."

Having lax security tools in place can obviously increase the potential for a breach. However, so can failing to embrace omnichannel fraud solutions.

According to, technology that protects e-commerce portals often can not be applied to in-store transactions, and vice-versa. As consumers start to adopt mobile, online and in-store payment options in equal amounts, businesses need to take an omnichannel approach to keeping consumer financial data safe.

Constructing a quality online fraud protection system is just as important as providing security to registers at brick-and-mortar locations, a sobering lesson Target is coming to terms with.

By working with a third-party outlet, retailers can install fraud protection tools for online and in-store sales that can help businesses spot suspicious activity and verify the identity of consumers. Doing so will not only mitigate the chances for a breach, but it will also establish trust between a retailer and customers that is essential for building a loyal consumer base in the increasingly wired commercial world.