By Charles Leaver

Months out, Target is still coping with breach

It’s been more than half a year since Target was breached, but the major retailer is far from being out of the woods.

Losses amid a continuing effort at recovery
Back in January, the breach of Target was a major story. In the intervening months, it’s faded into the periphery as far as national coverage goes, but for the store itself, the issue is far from being sidelined. According to CNN Money, the retailer has just reduced its 2014 profit projections even more, suggesting that the company has underestimated the significant hit the malicious attack would cause.

The decrease in profits from this year to the same point last year are marked, with the business displaying 62 percent less earnings. Add into this equation the fact that Target had to pay $111 million stemming from the breach in just the second fiscal quarter of the year and you have an image of a once-robust business floundering following a cyberattack.

The scale of Target’s attack played no small part in the continued fallout. The hack compromised information for roughly 110 million people, with 40 million of those people experiencing stolen credit card data. Following news about the incursion, major changes at the company occurred, including the implementation of more stringent security measures and a changing of the administrative guard, including the resignation of longtime CEO Gregg Steinhafel. But all that has not been enough to mitigate the impact of the breach, and according to Brian Sozzi of Belus Capital, Target stakeholders are now absorbing the negative impact of this as much as the store itself.

“Target just dropped an epic full year earnings warning onto the heads of its remaining shareholders,” Sozzi said in an email to CNNMoney. “Target has given investors ZERO reason to be encouraged that a global turnaround is secretly emerging.”

For all businesses out there, Target offers a lesson in better preemptive measures
Even if a company is completely proactive about its response to a breach, there’s no guarantee that this will lead to a quicker recovery. The truth is that suffering a breach is bad form for an enterprise no matter how you spin it or attempt to make amends for it. The best solution, therefore, is to prevent such an incident from happening in the first place. To that end, endpoint threat detection software can play a major role in maintaining a strong defensive infrastructure for any business that chooses to use it.

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