Friday, October 26, 2007

TJX - Who suffers?

Just a quick break from the 7 habits. They take awhile to think out and I need to post something..

All the signs are pointing that TJX has suffered a text book case hack attempt and so all the Security Chicken Littles were salivating because this would be the "I told you so" opportunity of a lifetime.

And it didn't happen. I blogged about it here and here.

So, what happened? My personal feeling is that this was just the first punch in the fight. Consumers have taken the knock and have felt a bit upset by it but they can deal with it.

In the back of their minds though they have decreased the amount that they like both TJX and credit cards and maybe their bank ever so slightly depending on how much this breach has impacted them.

TJX is lucky in that if their service levels are up to scratch and if they have no more major breaches then over time their image will be improved and their customers will be happy once more.

For the credit card companies it will be a bit harder. If someone now suffers a breach at another store it won't impact TJX but the consumer may feel a bit less trusting of the whole credit card process.

This is problematic in the same way my swimming pool theory is bad for networks. Every store only suffers a bit of the problem but the whole credit card process suffers the most. Perhaps this is why the PCI members (Visa, Mastercard, etc) are working hard to get the stores to implement the PCI DSS security standard. They may find consumers start to give up using credit cards as much or at all ever.

Maybe the answer is actually for the whole process to be scrapped and redone.
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