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Situation Room: Target Tackles Cyber Crime

Target is taking steps to ensure the massive data breach of December 2013, which compromised the personal information of as many as 70 million of its customers, never happens again.

The Minneapolis-based mass-market retailer has opened a Cyber Fusion Center as part of a $1 billion investment that will see it implement more technology and supply chain security measures this year.

“Data security is a top priority at Target,” Brian Cornell, Target chairman and CEO, said in a statement, “so we continue to invest heavily in top talent, as well as technology, and focus on continually evaluating and evolving our processes as the landscape changes.”

The fallout from the cyber hack has had huge financial repercussions for Target, which in March agreed to pay individual victims up to $10,000 each in damages (or around $10 million) in a proposed settlement of a class-action lawsuit. Meanwhile, the company revealed in its fourth-quarter and fiscal-year 2014 earnings report that the incident had already cost it $162 million over the span of two years.

So a newfound emphasis on cybersecurity is a no-brainer and Target’s chief information security officer, Brad Maiorino, pointed out that teams of analysts are now working around the clock to improve detection and respond to problems.

“They use a mix of human intelligence, analytics and state-of-the-art technology to detect, investigate and contain threats to our business,” said the security chief, a former General Motors exec who joined the company a year ago. “At the end of the day, it’s all about keeping our guests’ data secure and protecting our company’s information.”