TJX Data Theft Blamed on Wireless

The fallout from TJX's infamous customer data theft doesn't get any better for the Framingham, Mass.-based retail behemoth. (Incidentally, TJX's corporate headquarters is just down the road from where most of the Redmond magazine editors have set up shop).

A Canadian investigative panel has found fault with both the company's wireless technology security and its data retention practices. The eight-month investigation revealed that the hackers got TJX customers' credit card numbers by intercepting wireless signals from two Miami-area Marshalls stores.

Canadian Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart also singled out how TJX held onto older customer data it should have purged long ago. "The company collected too much personal information, kept it too long and relied on weak encryption technology to protect it," Stoddart said at a recent information security conference in Canada. Guess TJX won't be opening any new stores north of the border any time soon.

Stoddard's recommendations for TJX included masking the information on driver's licenses when they're collected during returns. TJX says it's already working on that.

The situation for those whose card numbers were stolen continues to be a nightmare. Experts say it takes a huge investment of time and money to clear your name once a crook has gone wild with your card numbers or account information. With my financial situation, if someone stole my identity, they'd probably want to give it back.

Has your company ever had any sort of security breach? How did you react and respond? How did that event change the way you manage and monitor your security infrastructure? Steal a moment to let me know at llow@redmondmag.com.

Posted by Lafe Low on September 26, 2007 at 11:57 AM