By Charles Leaver

Target CEO stepping down points to long-term impact of breaches

Restoring a company’s reputation following a major breach does not happen quickly. In fact, it may never happen. In a world rife with cybersecurity threats, customers are quick to grow wary of businesses that do not seem to have endpoint protection software in place to keep their information safe from theft. Businesses like Target have spend decades cementing a solid customer base and earning their trust. But as the major breach on Target proved, that trust can diminish in an instant – and for the corporate giant, the consequences of that are still being felt.

Target CEO Steinhafel steps down amid continued breach recovery
Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel has reached an agreement with the company’s board wherein he will step down and assume a role in the company’s periphery, as an advisor. For Steinhafel, this will stand in a stark contrast to the last five months, during which he was often planted firmly in the spotlight as various groups called upon him to explain the company weaknesses that resulted in the attack.

But in a letter to Target’s board, Steinhafel seemed to focus more on the company’s recovery efforts than the vulnerabilities that precipitated the attack.

“The last several months have tested Target in unprecedented ways,” he wrote. “From the beginning, I have been committed to ensuring Target emerges from the data breach a better company, more focused than ever on delivering for our guests.”

Steinhafel’s exit still leaves many problems for the company to contend with, including a large profit loss in the wake of the breach and a 2.5 percent reduction in Target share values following news of the attack. Target’s size and the scale of its breach have perhaps played a significant role in the sheer difficulty of recovery, but a maliciously attacked business of any size is likely to face similar difficulties.

Cost of recovery from data breaches rise, report finds
In addition to the news about Steinhafel, a Ponemon Institute study released May 5 gives businesses of all sizes even more reason to consider implementing endpoint security software. The study found that the price of the average data breach is on the rise. Compared just to last year, the global cost of a typical breach has witnessed a 15 percent rise, with the United States leading the pack.

Any breached company in the U.S. can expect to shell out a pretty penny following the attack. According to the study, which examined 314 companies, the average price an attacked U.S. company will have to pay is $246 for every compromised record. Considering many breaches have seen the theft of thousands or even millions of records, these numbers can add up quickly and amount to an extremely cumbersome expenditure.

Endpoint threat detection and response software a cheaper, more sensible option to simply lying in wait
For companies that defend their infrastructure with endpoint threat detection and response software, the risk of getting breached goes down. In this day and age, any enterprise is a potential victim. But with endpoint protection, companies have a choice to not become one.

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