Target CIO Resigns Following Massive Data Breach

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Target Corp.’s Chief Information Officer Beth Jacob is resigning, effective immediately, in the wake of the massive data breach during the holiday 2013 shopping season during which as many as 70 million customers had their personal information stolen, including 40 million debit and credit card accounts.

The retailer also said it would be overhauling its information security practices and compliance division, and would be looking for external candidates to serve as interim CIO.

Jacob had worked at Target from 1984-86, then returned in 2002 as Director of Guest Contact Centers. She was promoted to her current position in 2008, after becoming a VP two years prior.

“While we are still in the process of an ongoing investigation, we recognize that the information-security environment is evolving rapidly,” Target Chairman, President and CEO Gregg Steinhafel said in a brief statement released this morning. “To ensure that Target is well positioned following the data breach we suffered last year, we are undertaking an overhaul of our information-security and compliance structure and practices at Target.”

This also includes elevating the role of the Chief Information Security Officer – another position that Target will hire externally, along with a Chief Compliance Officer.

The company also noted that it’s working with external adviser Promontory Financial Group to help it with its transformation.

Target has been working towards the implementation of chip and PIN card support, a tool that will further ensure customer security. The company also offered free credit monitoring for a year in the wake of the breach disclosure.

Hackers connected to the internal wireless systems at Target stores and grabbed credit card information as it passed through the system. The resulting breach, one of the biggest to date, resulted in millions of credit cards being sold on the black market.

Additional reporting: John Biggs