Breach Of Personal Information Facebook And Target Stores |

Breach of Personal Information Facebook and Target Stores

Breach of Personal Information: Facebook and Target Stores
Computer Information Security
In the increasingly interconnected world of information, security, as well as information
privacy, have emerged a significant issue of contention. In fact, there is an increasing demand of
accessing individuals' personal information with the aim of generating products and survives are
adjusted to people's tastes and preferences (Davies, 2017). On the other hand, information
security is increasingly requiring movement of transactions and knowledge of records as a
precondition for controlling and monitoring by the state. This paper provides of recent computer
information security breach of two companies: Facebook and Target Stores (Doward & Gibbs,
2017). A description of information system breach by both companies will be provided, and the
manner in which the two companies handled the issue will be provided. An analysis of security
breach at both companies reveals that indeed the failure to protect personal data is a serious
ethical concern, which might result in serious legal challenges.
Information System Breach at Facebook
Recently, Cambridge has been significantly continued to breach personal information on
Facebook to achieve its unethical objectives. Cambridge Analytica was the company behind
Trump’s online campaign and the recent Brexit campaign (Dehaye, 2017). Specifically, personal
information breach that the company faces is the use of personal data for political reasons. The
New York Time also reported that CA improperly acquired the private data of over 50 million
American Facebook users. The Facebook users’ personal data obtained by CA was used in
targeting voters on behalf of Trump's campaign in the presidential election in 2016 was ill.
Despite the outcry, Facebook has been unable to manage the breach of information in an
effective manner. Despite the strong video evidence presented against CA, Facebook has
continued to strongly deny the accusation arguing that the data was acquired in an ethical manner
(Doward & Gibbs, 2017). Despite a video evidence, both companies denied using Facebook data
as a part of the services to Trump’s campaign and that personality targeting advertising approach
was not used for their clients (Dehaye, 2017). CA went further accusing Channel 4 News of
mischaracterization as well as entrapment arguing that the reports were scripted and edited with
the aim of misrepresenting the nature of the conversation as well as the company's business
conduct. However, the suspending of the company's CEO while the investigation was underway
was a proof of the company's involvement in the practice.
Target Store’s Data Breach
Taking place in December 2013, the personal information breach at Target Stores
involved the compromising of contact and debit/debit card information of more than 110 million
people (Riley, Elgin, Lawrence & Matlack, 2014). Although the breach was not discovered until
weeks later, Target Store announced that hackers managed to gain access to its customer’s
private information through a third-party Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning vender to the
company’s point-of-sales payment card readers (Hovav & Gray, 2014). As a result, the hackers
managed to collect up to 40 million debit and credit card numbers. Upon investigation, the
company reported that up 70 million personal identifiable information of its customers had been
compromised. Personal information that had been collected included names, email addresses,
phone numbers and addresses.
Hacking of data at target is among the very few recent breaches that had been effectively
managed. Because of their failure to protect the personal information of its client, the company’s
CEO and CIO assumed responsibility of the breach and resigned (Riley, Elgin, Lawrence &
Matlack, 2014). Also, in the recent past, the company has been credited for making significant
improvement on personal information management systems. Two years after the breach, the
company has managed to significantly recover in terms of the financial impact as well as
consumer trust. Although the company as not disclosed the nature of the breach, a number of
measures have been taken with an aim of improving the company’s security posture. Foremost
the retailer has put in place a new senior leadership in cybersecurity (Riley, Elgin, Lawrence &
Matlack, 2014). The company has also rolled out Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV)
compliant POS terminals in all its stores, which is aimed at reducing in card present
environment. Tokenization and combined chip process has been regarded as a significant
deterrent for data thieves, responsible of making counterfeit cards and fraudulent accounts. Also
the company has out in place a threat sharing initiative, which include the Retail Cyber
Intelligence Sharing Center as well as Financial Services Information Sharing Analysis Center
(Riley, Elgin, Lawrence & Matlack, 2014). Such approach has been considered effective because
companies are not actively sharing attack information, which will help the industry improve on
security measures. After correcting the network error, the company has managed to improve
firewall and segmentation policies and rules (Riley, Elgin, Lawrence & Matlack, 2014). With
respect to the measures that the company has significantly taken in the recent past, it is worth to
confirm that these initiatives have worked because the company has not been attacked again
since 2013.
Failing to fully acknowledge the incident and the reluctance to take an initiative is a sign
of Facebook’s failure to protect its client’s information. On the other hand, Target stores did not
only acknowledge the data breach, it also informed it customers of the immediate security
measures they had to take. Target has not experienced breaches because of the significant
initiatives it has utilize to mitigate future security breach occurrences.
Davies, W. (2017). How statistics lost their powerand why we should fear what comes
next. The Guardian. Retrieved March 25, 2018 from
Dehaye, P. O. (2017). Cambridge Analytica and Facebook Data. PERSONALDATA-IO.
Retrieved May 23, 2017 from
Doward, J., & Gibbs, A. (2017). Did Cambridge Analytica influence the Brexit vote and the US
election? The Guardian. Retrieved March 25, 2018 from
Riley, M., Elgin, B., Lawrence, D., & Matlack, C. (2014). Missed alarms and 40 million stolen
credit card numbers: How Target blew it. Bloomberg Businessweek, 13.
Hovav, A., & Gray, P. (2014). The Ripple Effect of an Information Security Breach Event: A
Stakeholder Analysis. CAIS, 34, 50.

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