How Did Target Respond To The Data Breach?

Data Breach
Data Breach


In December 2013, Target experienced a massive data breach that exposed millions of customer’s personal and financial information. The breach was one of the largest in US history and caused significant losses to Target and its customers. It also highlighted how vulnerable companies are to cyber-attacks. In this blog post, we will examine how Target responded to the data breach, what it did right, and what could have been done better. We’ll also discuss some of the lessons from this incident to help other companies protect themselves against similar threats.

What Happened?

On December 19, 2013, Target announced that it had suffered a data breach. The breach affected approximately 40 million customers who had shopped at Target stores between November 27 and December 15, 2013. Target’s CEO Gregg Steinhafel issued a public apology and promised to work with authorities to investigate the matter.

Target immediately notified law enforcement after discovering the breach and has been cooperating with the investigation. In addition, Target has taken steps to secure its systems further and prevent future breaches. It is still unclear how exactly the breach occurred, but it is believed that hackers gained access to Target’s systems through a third-party vendor.

How did Target Respond?

In the wake of the massive data breach that affected millions of Target shoppers, the company has responded with various steps to help contain the damage and prevent future incidents.

First, Target offered free credit monitoring and identity theft protection for all customers who shopped at the store when the data was compromised. They have also set up a dedicated website and call centre to provide information and assistance to anyone who may have been affected.

In addition, Target has implemented new security measures to prevent future breaches, including encrypting all credit and debit card data, adding additional layers of security for online transactions, and increasing physical security at stores. The company has also vowed to work closely with law enforcement and intelligence agencies to investigate the breach and bring those responsible to justice.


Target responded to the data breach by taking several steps to improve its security. It installed new software to protect customer data better, updated its security protocols, and increased monitoring of suspicious activity. The company also offered free credit monitoring services to affected customers and set up a dedicated call centre to answer questions about the incident. Finally, Target took out full-page ads in major newspapers to apologize for the breach and assure customers that it was taking steps to prevent future incidents.

Target’s data breach

On December 19, 2013, Target announced that a data breach had occurred in which information belonging to up to 70 million customers had been stolen. The stolen information included names, mailing addresses, phone numbers, and credit and debit card numbers. The data breach was the second largest regarding the number of records compromised, behind only the 2013 Yahoo! data breach.

In response to the data breach, Target appointed a new CEO, Brian Cornell, who vowed to make security a top priority for the company. Target also set up a dedicated website and call centre to help affected customers. In addition, Target offered one year of free credit monitoring and identity theft protection to all customers affected by the data breach. Finally, Target implemented new security measures to prevent future breaches from occurring.

How did Target respond to the data breach?

In the wake of the Target data breach, the company took several steps to improve its security posture and prevent future breaches. First, Target hired a new Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) and implemented a new security program. The company also updated its point-of-sale systems to EMV chip technology and enhanced its network security. Finally, Target created a dedicated team to investigate and respond to data breaches.

Other companies that have experienced data breaches

Other companies that have experienced data breaches have typically taken a much different approach than Target did. For example, when Anthem, Inc., a healthcare insurance company, had 80 million records breached in early 2015, they offered affected customers free credit monitoring and identity theft protection services. In the wake of the Equifax data breach in 2017 – in which 143 million people had their personal information exposed – the company set up a website where people could check to see if their information was part of the leak. They also offered those affected free credit monitoring and identity theft protection services.

On the other hand, Target needs to be more forthcoming about what happened in its data breach and what they are doing to help those affected. In the immediate aftermath of the breach, Target released a statement saying they were “Working with law enforcement and taking appropriate steps to prevent future occurrences.” However, they have not provided any details about those steps or how they plan to prevent future breaches.

This lack of transparency has led to customer and security experts’ criticism. Many feel that Target should be doing more to help those affected by the breach and that they should be more open about what happened and what they are doing to prevent it from happening again.

How to protect yourself from data breaches?

Data breaches are becoming increasingly common, and knowing how to protect yourself is essential. There are a few simple steps you can take to help keep your information safe:

  1. Keep your software up to date: This includes your operating system, web browser, and any other software you use. Outdated software can have security vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit.
  2. Use strong passwords: A strong password is long and contains a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Avoid using easily guessed words like “password” or your name.
  3. Don’t click on links in emails or open attachments from unknown senders: These can be used to install malware on your computer or steal your personal information.
  4. Use a secure connection when possible: When using public Wi-Fi, ensure the connection is encrypted so that others can’t intercept your data. You can tell if a connection is encrypted if it has HTTPS:// in the address bar instead of just HTTP://.
  5. Be careful what you share online: Be aware of the information you share on social media and other websites. Hackers can use this information to their advantage, so it’s best to err on the side of caution.


Target responded swiftly and decisively to the data breach, taking several actions to ensure customer security. These included strengthening their systems with more encryption, increasing investigations into potential threats, providing customers with free credit monitoring services, and implementing additional layers of security such as two-factor authentication. Target is committed to customer safety and takes its responsibility seriously when it comes to protecting customer information.

Mark Funk
Mark Funk is an experienced information security specialist who works with enterprises to mature and improve their enterprise security programs. Previously, he worked as a security news reporter.