FTC settles with TJX over breach

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The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Thursday announced a settlement with TJX over the discount retailer's massive breach of customer credit card records.

Last year, Framingham, Mass.-based TJX, which operates more than 2,500 stores worldwide, revealed that hackers stole some 45.7 million records from its systems over a two-year period period. Court filings since the disclosure have placed the amount at twice that number.

Based on its charges, the FTC painted a bleak information security picture of TJX, the parent company for Marshalls and T.J. Maxx outlets.

The FTC, in a statement Thursday, said TJX lacked proper security solutions, such as firewalls and wireless defense, and failed to patch vulnerabilities and update anti-virus signatures. The company also transmitted personal information in clear text, failed to require strong passwords and lacked measures to detect and prevent unauthorized computer access, the FTC also stated.

As part of the settlement, TJX must create a "comprehensive security program reasonably designed to protect the security, confidentiality and integrity of personal information it collects from or about consumers."

Specifically, the FTC ordered TJX to designate an individual responsible for information security, identify risks to personal data, deploy safeguards to mitigate that risk, work out agreements with service providers that handle customer data, and evaluate and adjust its security program to meet operation changes.

In addition, TJX must submit to a third-party audit of its security program every two years for the next two decades.

A TJX spokeswoman told SCMagazineUS.com that the company was preparing a statement in response to the settlement.
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