With the ever increasing rate of shift from analogue to digital modes of communication and data processing, efficiency has improved tremendously. However, as can be expected, such development has come with its own evils, with the upsurge of cybercrime now the main headache for the companies using electronic data storage and processing. It is thus prudent to ask, how safe is clients’ electronically stored information concerning cyber-crime?
Many web developers have dedicated a big share of their time in developing hacker proof storage systems and websites to guarantee clients’ information safety, but they have not yet controlled it. Clients’ information is not as safe as may have been expected . This is shown by the recent hacking in the Target stores which led to theft data for 40 million credit and debit cards between November 27 and December 15. The fact that the hacking went on for more than two weeks without being detected is a tale tell of the insecurity of the data.
The statement given by the companies spokesperson cannot serve to dilute the severity of the situation because personal identifications of the customers were taken, including encrypted PIN data. With this personal information, the hackers can easily get the other relevant data and assemble fully functional credit cards and use them to withdraw money from customers’ accounts. Equally, the fact that Target disclosed on what is needed to crack the encrypted PINs (which they said can only be possible if the hackers get data from the payment-processing company that works with the retail chain), the data is even in customers are even in more danger of losing their money since the hackers only need to get this data. This also puts the payment-processing company a target for hackers, which means more customers, including those who don’t shop in Target are at risk of falling victims.
Loader, B. D., & Thomas, D. (2013). Cybercrime: Security and Surveillance in the Information Age. New York: Routledge.