Congressional Hearings on Breaches Continue

March 10, 2014

Congressional Hearings on Breaches Continue Congressional hearings in the wake of the massive security breaches uncovered last December (and the ones still emerging) continued on Thursday as the House Subcommittees on Oversight and Research and Technology had their say on the matter. Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Paul Broun (R-Ga.) reminded the assembly that the matter goes far beyond payment card information noting, “a reported 823 million exposed records made 2013 a record year for data breaches.”

But the retailer-centric nature of the most recent breaches—including one confirmed at beauty-supply retailer Sally Beauty and one rumored (and still unsubstantiated) at Sears —meant witnesses included payment-industry stakeholders. Support for ongoing efforts to implement EMV technology seem to be the most immediate step politicians are backing, including Rep. Broun.

“I would suggest those free market incentives and disincentives and the right of free association and cooperation are sufficient and the most effective at addressing the evolving, quick-moving threat of sophisticated hacking organizations and cybercriminals,” he said in his opening remarks. “The fact that the payment industry and retailers have been actively working together to make the necessary investments to tighten credit-card and debit-card security next year by transitioning to ‘smart or chip card’ technology is proof of that.”