Cisco offers Advice to Target & Other Retailers
For some companies, discovering security vulnerabilities doesn’t happen until those weaknesses are maliciously exploited. Cisco’s ACS updates come on the heels of a series of malware attacks on large retailers including Target and Neiman Marcus, which resulted in the theft of millions of customers’ private data. It is not yet clear if the attacks were connected, though media outlets and industry insiders have pointed out that the similarity between the attacks and their proximity to each other make it hard to believe they weren’t connected. Target was hit hardest (and most publicly) when a breach on its security system in December led to credit card information for 110 million customers being stolen.
In the wake of the breaches, Cisco has offered advice to the affected retailers, pointing out that better encryption at point-of-sale terminals (i.e. the self-checkout counter at Target) could prevent future attacks. Cisco said the attacks on Target and other retailers happened because their POS terminals were linked up with third party software. In a security release, Cisco encouraged businesses to encrypt their POS terminals with hardware.
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Cisco Doubles-Down on Info Security
Many major tech companies have been taking measures recently to ensure that their privileged data can’t be breached, and Cisco is no exception. The networking giant is taking precautionary measures to ensure that their data cannot fall victim to remote attackers. According to PCWorld, Cisco just released a security update to its Access Control System (ACS). Its ACS is an appliance for wireless and wired clients that regulates administrative access controls.
In a Security Advisory release to clients and prospects, Cisco said it had discovered several vulnerabilities in its ACS, weaknesses that may have given third-party attackers a back door into administrative system operations—if Cisco hadn’t gotten there first. By identifying the vulnerabilities before a malicious third party exploited them, Cisco was able to take internal measures to ensure that such an attack never happens. To that end, it has released free software updates that mitigate the potential security risk. By installing these updates, Cisco’s customers protect themselves against the possibility of malicious third-party infringement.
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