Target's Data Breach: What Went Wrong?

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June 3 (Bloomberg) -- Bloomberg's Michael Riley and Alex Barinka discuss the fallout from the data security breach at Target. They speak with Trish Regan on Bloomberg Television's "Street Smart." (Source: Bloomberg)

Bloomberg businessweek." what could they have done differently?

They try to do everything right.

They spent a lot of money, but some really expensive tools.

Yet, when those tools caught the hackers as they were installing the malware and signals got sent to the security operations center, something went wrong.

It was a human failure, the guys in that center that were supposed to investigative put it in a long list of things to get done, and in the meantime the hackers stole 40 million credit cards.

They had the opportunity to head this off.

They had all of these software they needed.

This was pure human error?

How could they have missed something this big when they took all of the precautions?

Companies have not been accustomed with dealing with these types of real-time threats.

When that alert came through and they did not jump on top of that, a little bit of a manpower issue, a little bit of putting something at the bottom of the pile that should not have been.

Of all the retailers in the world -- hey, take walmart, right?

Why go after target?

They did not just go after target.

We know this was not a unique phenomena.

Michaels stores were hit about the same time.

Neiman marcus was also hit.

Was this the same crew?

In all likelihood, it probably was not.

It probably involved three different groups of hackers.

The difference may be that the hackers had the combination of getting lucky.

They were able to get 40 million credit cards in just a few days.

Neiman marcus, they got one million, but no one remembers that when 40 million happened the month before.

Sure, and all the headlines from this.

You look at the store traffic.

It declined.

The company continues to have problems since this happened.

How do you restore customer trust?

At this point, people are reluctant to go into target and use their credit card.

Understandably so.

It becomes a reputation risk issue.

You see things like a new chief security officer.

Also, it has gone up to the board level.

These kinds of issues did not necessarily used to be at the top of mind of the board in these companies.

Now they know, their heads are on the chopping block if 40 million users are compromised.

It shows you the job of ceo is not just being ceo, but they need to understand technology or at least take sure they have a cto that doesn't can explain it to them.

Ultimately, they are the ones who will be held accountable, mike.

That is relatively new.

These breaches are not unique.

This is not even the largest.

This is the first one we have seen where it may be the reason why the ceo was fired.

Or at least a contributing reason.

Now you have companies with shareholders saying that members of the board should be held accountable.

One way to explain that may be the growing awareness people have about the sensitivity and vulnerability of their data.

Growing awareness because we keep hearing more of the stories.

Just recently, ebay telling people you have to change your password.

Right.

Great reporting.

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.

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