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The resignation was effective Wednesday

Target's massive data breach over the holiday season last year has prompted many changes, with the latest being a new chief information officer. 

According to The Associated Press, Target's CIO Beth Jacob resigned from the company on Wednesday, although many suspect that the retailer pushed her out after the holiday data breach that affected millions of customers. 

Jacob held the CIO position since 2008, where she was in charge of Target's website, internal computer systems, and everything in between. 

When the data breach happened last year, a lot of the blame likely fell on Jacob's shoulders, which could be the reason for her resignation. 

Target is currently on the search for an interim CIO, and this person will reportedly be a candidate outside of the company. 

Target's breach ran from November 27 through December 15, where customer information like their names, card numbers, expiration dates and CVV verification codes were compromised. Around 40 million customers had their credit cards compromised and 70 million had their customer records stolen.


Beth Jacob [SOURCE: CNN]

Since the breach, Target has been working to make fixes to ensure that it won't happen again. One of these fixes is a call for smartcards, which could replace current credit and debit cards. 

Smartcards, unlike current credit and debit cards used in the U.S., have a tiny microprocessor chip that encrypts the user's personal data shared with the merchant's sales terminals. Traditional credit and debit cards have a magnetic strip instead, which hold's the user's information, but can clearly be compromised. If a smartcard number is stolen, it's useless without the microchip. 

To show Target's dedication to the smartcard cause, it's speeding up its goal of bringing its REDcard smartcards to all Target stores by early 2015 -- six months earlier than its previous goal. The chain is making a $100 million investment in the technology to accomplish this goal.  

In addition to smartcards, Target is changing technology and security roles within the company, such as separating the responsibility for assurance risk and compliance (compliance duties at Target were overseen by Target's current vice president of assurance risk and compliance). 

Source: AP





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