In one of the largest data breaches to date, Heartland Payment Company compromised the cards of over 100 million people, almost 1/3 of the U.S. population.
In addition to dealing with a damaged reputation, expensive notifications and fallout, and continued lawsuits from affected banks and credit Unions, the latest hit to Heartland came from Visa. Visa recently took action at Heartland by suspending the data breach victim and removing it from Visa’s online list of PCI-DSS compliant providers.
Heartland was last certified as PCI-DSS compliant in April 2008 but in a presentation given earlier this month by two Visa executives, Visa was quoted as saying, “As of today, no compromised entity as been found to be compliant at the time of the breach”.
Of course they weren’t! How can an organization that exposes 100 million credit card accounts be considered PCI compliant? And…compliance on April 1 does not equal Security on April 1.
Heartland is yet another learning experience of how critical it is for organizations to not only focus on getting past the upcoming compliance examination, but to truly and proactively maintain a secure organization throughout the year. A comprehensive approach to security includes ongoing assessments, ongoing updates, ongoing testing, ongoing training, etc. Employees must be continuously updated on new risks, threats, best practices, etc. on an ongoing basis. Once-a-year training is not enough. Once-a-year compliance is also not enough.
How many more data breaches will we see before organizational leaders realize the importance of implementing lessons learned?