With data breaches become weekly occurances (if not more — the latest chain to be hit since our last post is Staples), the White House has attempted to step into the “breach” itself, with the signing of a new executive order that is part of a larger “BuySecure” initiative.
The order, signed by President Obama last week, will help hasten the arrival of chip-and-pin technology here in the U.S.
The new program is being coordinated with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, along with partners in the private sector, which include previous corporate “victims” of high-profile hacks.
Among those partnering with the White House are Home Depot and Target (along with Walgreens and Walmart) who will be rolling out chip-and-pin compatible terminals over the next 3 months. Additionally, American Express will launch a program to help support small businesses in making their POS terminals more secure, and Visa will expand its program on educating consumers and merchants on secure technologies (similar to the “MasterCard tips” we recently ran), including sending a team of experts to 20 cities for face-to-face events.
As for the White House initiative, it includes:
*New resources for identity theft victims: The Order includes support for the Federal Trade Commission’s development of IdentityTheft.gov, a new one-stop resource that will help streamline reporting and remediation process with credit bureaus, in the wake of a breach.
*Expanded information sharing: The Executive Order will allow Federal investigators to more easily share information and regularly report evidence of stolen financial and other information to companies whose customers are directly affected.
*Company assistance: In another parnership, the aforementioned MasterCard will provide its customers with free identity theft monitoring and resolution support.
Reaction has been positive. Jason Oxman, the CEO of the Electronic Transactions Associattion said in a statement that “ETA applauds the Administration’s support for a uniform national data breach notification standard and for greater information sharing on cyber threats. Going forward, we look forward to working with the Administration to ensure that our payments networks remain safe, reliable, and secure.”
The White House, meanwhile, says it’s launching a “Summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection” later this year — which would mean “pretty darn fast,” given a glance at the calendar. The Summit’s goal is to “bring together major stakeholders on consumer financial protection issues to discuss ways to further protect Americans and their financial data.”
So more initiatives and announcements will be coming over the next several months, but you don’t need to be inside the Beltway to start protecting your business and your customers: AVPS is right here, ready to help, when you want equipment upgrades, expanded customer payment options, and more.
Consider it a kind of “Rose Garden Strategy,” for you and your customers!