Cyber Security, Electronic Payments, Payment technology

NCUA’s Metsger: Target breach could be catalyst for modernizing payments system

Rick Metsger

Rick Metsger

NCUA Board Member Rick Metsger said in his first “NCUA Report” piece this week that the recent Target data breach could be the catalyst for improvements to data security standards.

In December, Target announced a data breach that resulted in the theft of data for 70 million debit and credit cards, as well as encrypted PIN data, names, emails and phone numbers.

Metsger said that while Target was not the only recent breach—one analysis pointed to as many as 600 reported breaches in 2013—the publicity it has garnered could serve as a reminder of the need for modernized payment systems, adding that the U.S. is “the leader in point-of-sale vulnerability and a veritable playground for enterprising hackologists.”

“While most of the developed world has converted to a more secure credit and debit card platform known as EMV, the U.S. continues to operate with its Jurassic-Age technology,” Metsger said. “The national attention given to this incident serves to remind us all just how critical it is that all data systems, both internal and external, must be constantly evaluated and modernized to address evolving risks.”

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