Avivah Litan

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What Healthcare needs to learn from Retail after the Anthem Breach

by Avivah Litan  |  February 7, 2015  |  2 Comments

It seems like every news analysis article on the Anthem healthcare insurance breach headlines that data encryption is the solution that will stop similar breaches in the future. Too bad these commentators’ have such short memories and forget what’s happened in the retail industry where PCI rules enforcing data protection (e.g. encryption, masking or other […]

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Where have all our Passwords Gone?

by Avivah Litan  |  January 22, 2015  |  11 Comments

“Young hackers have picked them everyone. Oh, when will they ever learn? Oh, when will they ever learn?” Not sure you remember this classic Peter Paul and Mary song but it is certainly appropros for the moment. Last August, the New York Times reported that a Russian crime ring had amassed the largest known collection […]

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The Hidden problems with Payment Card Security Technologies and PCI

by Avivah Litan  |  January 13, 2015  |  Comments Off

Ever since the high profile payment card data breaches, we have been getting lots of client inquiries around payment card security technologies — point-to-point encryption, tokenization and EMV. The first two technologies are being widely adopted by many U.S. companies, especially since nothing else seems to be working at keeping the bad guys out. For […]

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Who is the Government of North Korea?

by Avivah Litan  |  December 19, 2014  |  3 Comments

There is so much talk and skepticism about the perpetrators of the Sony attack – are they representing the North Korean government or are they a small band of crazy hackers? The discussion makes me recall a dinner I had about a year ago with a respectable Chinese Factory owner when I asked him if […]

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Where does North Korea get its cyber-hacking skills from?

by Avivah Litan  |  December 5, 2014  |  1 Comment

Many months before the alleged North Korean attack on Sony Pictures took place, a widely known fact in intel circles is that the Chinese and Russians are training North Koreans how to hack. Apparently, North Koreans are holed up inside a cement building inside China, learning these hacking skills, and after they are trained, these […]

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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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