The Retail Industry Leaders Association- in conjunction with names like Gap, Lowe’s, Nike, Walgreens, J.C Penney, Target, and VF Corporation- recently launched the Retail Cyber Intelligence Sharing Center. It is a massive assembly of national and global brands all building a collective effort to stay ahead of the growing risks stemming from retail malware crime and data breaches.
When we discuss large-scale retail data breaches such as the now-infamous Target holiday season attack, it is important to understand exactly how these attacks occur. For major retailers like Target and many others, the attacks occur at the POS (Point of Sale) system level. These are the registers and computers used to process payment cards and transactions at a physical location. When a customer swipes a card, the POS system momentarily holds the transaction information from the magnetic stripe before sending it to a payment processing provider.