Avivah Litan

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Retailers Brace for the Holiday Breach Season

by Avivah Litan  |  November 19, 2014  |  1 Comment

Holiday shopping season is upon us and is the busiest season of the year for hackers and shoppers alike. 2014 will be no exception and we should brace ourselves for more high profile cyber-attacks although this time, they are likely to gain much less public attention. Consumers have rightfully learned that they suffer little harm […]

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Token Collision and Point to Point Encryption Confusion ala ApplePay

by Avivah Litan  |  November 7, 2014  |  1 Comment

With all the excitement about ApplePay, big systemic problems are starting to surface on the retailer side. Here they are: a) Point to Point encryption confusion – Some vendors who certified their payment card applications for point to point encryption left out certification of the contactless payments since there was very little volume in the […]

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Apple Pay vs. CurrentC; will Merchants lose out again to Visa and MasterCard?

by Avivah Litan  |  November 3, 2014  |  1 Comment

The recent ruckus in the media about Wal-Mart, CVS and RiteAid and other national retailers refusing ApplePay has created bad PR for the fragmented retail sector. News commentators have been ranting on about how these merchants need to give consumers free choice and turn back on ApplePay acceptance. These comments reflect the great job Visa […]

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Can Credit Report Monitoring become more useful?

by Avivah Litan  |  November 3, 2014  |  Comments Off

For years companies whose troves of credit cards have been data breached have been offering potential fraud victims’ credit report monitoring as relief. I always cringe when I hear about this because I view this largely as a PR move on behalf of the breached entity that does virtually nothing to protect a cardholder from […]

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2014: The year of the worst data breaches and highest profits at U.S. credit card issuers

by Avivah Litan  |  October 14, 2014  |  2 Comments

It looks like the credit card companies keep winning and the retailers keep losing when it comes to making money on credit cards. R.K. Hammer, a consulting firm in Thousand Oaks, Calif., estimates that U.S. card issuers will generate $158.6 billion in 2014 revenue, a 9% jump over the $146 billion they earned in 2013. […]

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Lessons from the Israeli CyberFront

by Avivah Litan  |  September 22, 2014  |  3 Comments

I just returned from a week in Israel, which always seems to me to be Ground Zero for CyberSecurity. Here are some of the takeaways I came back with from my visit: a) Life goes on – and the security community continues to innovate I attended and spoke at one of the major Israel cyber-tech […]

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Will Apple Pay Save Merchants from Data Breaches?

by Avivah Litan  |  September 9, 2014  |  6 Comments

Apple has finally gotten into the payments business with its Apple Pay announcement. While details on Apple Pay security features are still scarce, it sounds like they are working with Visa, MasterCard, the other card brands and the major issuing banks behind them to use a payment card tokenization scheme that these financial services companies […]

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Big Banks hit by CyberAttacks – Alarming but not Surprising

by Avivah Litan  |  August 28, 2014  |  2 Comments

Today’s headlines report that big banks have been hit by cyberattacks, according to the FBI. While this news is alarming, it certainly is not surprising. Hackers are always probing bank systems and even a year ago or so, law enforcement authorities and regulators put out an advisory to banks about criminals hacking into bank employee […]

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Russian Gang Password heist is so much worse than Target

by Avivah Litan  |  August 6, 2014  |  3 Comments

I’m finally going to change my passwords. Frankly, I haven’t been motivated until now – even after Heartbleed and all the other heists – since I just do a quick mental calculation of my risk vs. my inconvenience. And I decided against the inconvenience. But now the threat to me and you as consumers is […]

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$200 Million credit card heist reminds us how overrated Social Security Numbers are

by Avivah Litan  |  May 15, 2014  |  4 Comments

A man convicted of a $200 Million credit card bust out scheme pleaded guilty Monday in one of the largest credit card fraud schemes ever charged by the Justice Department. (See: http://www.fbi.gov/newark/press-releases/2014/new-york-man-admits-role-in-international-200-million-credit-card-fraud-conspiracy). The scam was executed by using fake identities to take credit cards out, and incur expenses that were never paid back to the […]

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