In case you haven’t heard by now, Target had a data breach during the peak of the Christmas Shopping season that may have affected up to 110 million customers.
If you still don’t know what I’m talking about, check out these stories from some major news outlets:
Customer names, card numbers, expiration dates, pin numbers, and security codes of all these customers are now at the disposal of some unknown criminal. As expected in a situation like this, the public is more concerned about the steps that Target failed to take in order to prevent this kind of situation than about actual criminal that stole all the data. We live in a world where identity theft is prevalent and we try to do our best to protect ourselves by staying away from sketchy online venders and instead stick with reputable retailers. But unfortunately things don’t always go as planned and I think that Target has handled the situation well given the unfortunate circumstances.
No matter how terrible the situation, Target knew that if they failed to get the situation under control in a timely manner then things were bound to spin out of control. The same day that the story broke Target was issuing statements to the press and instructing customers to contact them in order to help answer any questions they had. The very next day they were offering a free year of credit monitoring to anyone affected by the breach.
I’m sure the executives at Target are praising their PR team for all the hours poured into creating an extensive crisis plan. It is so important to plan for the “what ifs”—knowing how to react in these unfortunate situations is something that has the ability to break even a well established company.