Target taps new information chief amid continued security enhancements
Effective May 5, Bob DeRodes will lead Target’s information technology transformation as EVP and chief information officer, as the retailer continues to recover from the data breach late last year.
Target also provided details on additional security enhancements it has made following that breach — which reportedly resulted in the theft of 40 million credit and debit card records and 70 million other records of customer details — and shared plans to incorporate MasterCard chip-and-PIN technology across its REDcard portfolio.
DeRodes will assume oversight of the Target technology team and operations, with responsibility for the ongoing data security enhancement efforts as well as the development of Target’s long-term information technology and digital roadmap. The company is continuing its active search for a chief information security officer and a chief compliance officer.
“Establishing a clear path forward for Target following the data breach has been my top priority. I believe Target has a tremendous opportunity to take the lessons learned from this incident and enhance our overall approach to data security and information technology. Bob’s history of leading transformational change positions him well to lead our continued breach responses and guide our long-term digital strategy,” said chairman, president and CEO Gregg Steinhafel.
DeRodes comes to Target with more than 40 years of experience. He has been a senior information technology adviser for the Center for CIO Leadership, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Secretary of Defense and the U.S. Department of Justice. In addition, DeRodes has provided independent advisory services to corporations, private equity firms and boards. DeRodes has also held top technology positions at a number of industry-leading, multinational companies including CitiBank, USAA Federal Savings Bank, First Data, Home Depot and Delta Air Lines. He also serves on the board of directors for NCR Corporation.
“I look forward to helping shape information technology and data security at Target in the days and months ahead. It is clear to me that Target is an organization that is committed to doing whatever it takes to do right by their guests,” said DeRodes.
Since the initial confirmation of the data breach, Target has been conducting an investigation. During that time, the company has taken what it calls “significant actions” to further strengthen security across the network, including — but not limited to — the development of point-of-sale management tools, review and streamlining of network firewall rules and development of a comprehensive firewall governance process; reviewing and limiting vendor access; and a coordinated reset of 445,000 Target team member and contractor passwords, broadening the use of two-factor authentication, expansion of password vaults, disabled multiple vendor accounts, reduced privileges for certain accounts, and developing additional training related to password rotation.
Target has also deployed a new initiative as part of its accelerated transition to chip-and-PIN-enabled REDcards. Beginning in early 2015, the entire REDcard portfolio, including all Target-branded credit and debit cards, will be enabled with MasterCard’s chip-and-PIN solution. Existing co-branded cards will be reissued as MasterCard co-branded chip-and-PIN cards. Ultimately, through this initiative, all of Target’s REDcard products will be chip-and-PIN secured.
Earlier this year, Target announced an accelerated $100 million plan to move its REDcard portfolio to chip-and-PIN-enabled technology and to install supporting software and next-generation payment devices in stores. The new payment terminals will be in all 1,797 U.S. stores by this September, six months ahead of schedule. In addition, by early next year, Target will enable all REDcards with chip-and-PIN technology and begin accepting payments from all chip-enabled cards in its stores.
“Target has long been an advocate for the widespread adoption of chip-and-PIN card technology,” said John Mulligan, EVP and CFO for Target. “As we aggressively move forward to bring enhanced technology to Target, we believe it is critical that we provide our REDcard guests with the most secure payment product available. This new initiative satisfies that goal.”