Thursday, April 2, 2009

I Hate to Say I Told You So…

Back in 2007, Shift4 held a Security Summit for its customers. One of the topics discussed was the link between credit card fraud and terrorism. Most people were surprised to hear this information and most attending this Summit were grateful that there security endeavors were making a bigger impact than they ever imagined.

Some people however, were appalled to hear this information. An interesting fact is that most of the naysayers were PCI security experts. But these PCI experts weren't the only one appalled. One of the major card brands (who shall remain nameless) was going to speak at this Summit but backed out at the last minute when they got wind of this topic. “That's just a fear tactic that Shift4 uses to sell their wares,” was a common theme when discounting any terrorism ties. The funny thing is, we were not “selling” anything at this Summit -- this was a security awareness event for our customers. In fact, the new products we debuted were and still are free for our customers.

Now fast forward a year and a half, The Green Sheet publishes an article on February 23, 2009, Data breaches, more than bad publicity which links credit card breaches with (drum roll please…), international terrorism. One snippet from the article: “The card scheme of choice: ‘carding.’ Carding is an umbrella term used to describe the theft and sale of personal financial information via the Internet for card or identity fraud.”

On March 31, 2009, the House Subcommittee on Emerging Threats, Cybersecurity, and Science and Technology, which is part of the Homeland Security Committee, chaired by Yvette Clarke (D-NY) held a hearing titled “Do the Payment Card Industry Data Standards Reduce Cybercrime?” You'll never guess what one of the topics discussed in this hearing.

Hmmm, I think there are some appalled experts in this industry that need to open their eyes. I'm fine being called out when I'm wrong about something. I just don't like being told I'm wrong just because someone does not want to hear what I'm saying. Ok, I got that off my chest. Now I'll be the mild mannered programmer my mother raised.