Target's VP of security: Collaboration is key

Collaboration is the key to cyber security. This was the underlying message delivered by Target's (NYSE:TGT) security team as the retailer tries to move past the massive data breach of 2013.

Ralph Boelter, VP of corporate security, and Brad Maiorino, senior VP and CISO, stopped to answer a few questions on Target's blog, A Bullseye View, before going on to represent the retailer at the annual Aspen Security Forum held earlier this week in Aspen, Colorado. While the conference was focused more on Homeland Security than retail, this was the third year that Target participated in the event.

And the first year after its very large data breach that compromised the credit and personal information of more than 70 million Target shoppers.

Boelter and Maiorino emphasized cooperation and collaboration as the key to cyber security.

"Cyber security is bigger than any one company, agency or individual," said Boelter. "It is paramount that we work together. The security environment today is simply too dynamic—and the criminals are highly sophisticated—for organizations to effectively address on their own. Organizations need to take a consistent, collaborative approach that includes sharing threat information and best practices to optimize their security posture. By working together, in collaborative settings like the forum, our collective defense is stronger than when we act alone."

Maiorino said Target would be a leader in the collaboration across the industry, citing the retailer's data breach in 2013 as a learning opportunity.

"While Target's breach was one of hundreds that took place in 2013, the visibility we received provides an opportunity for all of us, an opportunity to move forward by leading future cyber security efforts," Maiorino said. "By working together we can identify new approaches to help develop a more secure environment."

Maiorino joined Target just last month as the retailer's first chief information security officer.

Discussing precautions being taken to curb potential breaches in the future, Boelter spoke of Target's membership with the Financial Services Information Sharing & Analysis Center and its role on the board of the Retail Industry Leaders Association's newly launched Retail Cyber Intelligence Sharing Center. In addition, the retailer is part of the Domestic Security Alliance Council and Overseas Security Advisory Council, two organizations that share intelligence threat best practices.

*A version of this story originally appeared on FierceRetailIT's sister publication, FierceRetail.

For more:
-See this A Bullseye View blog post

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Shoppers stop buying online after breaches
Who is to blame in Target card breach?
Target defends pre-breach actions
Target still reeling from data breach, failed Canada expansion
Target data breach: Most shoppers are over it, poll shows

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