In 1989 Southwest Washington Medical Center started a program called "Mums the Word". The purpose of this program was to educate the employees on protecting patient information and the confidentiality of the patient (what is now referred to as PHI). This is impressive what over 20 years ago they were thinking about these things. Not all companies have this type of foresight, and that isn’t a criticism. Companies focus on what they are good at and most likely demonstrate incredible foresight in their specific industry. But companies who still fail to act after all the information we have today around data theft is just negligent. These companies most likely will be passed by the diligent in their industry.
Investing in security is as important as investing in reinventing the core business. When I was a kid you could go to Service Merchandise and buy electronics. When I was a teenager you could grab a root beer at the A&W drive in. When I was in my early 20’s I could fly on TWA. And 3 years ago I could buy a Saturn.
On the other side of the aisle, the world’s largest company Wal-Mart already has equipment to accept credit cards with chip-and-PIN technology. Chip-and-PIN is a new technology that can read unique microchips on credit cards. This is not even being used in this country, but it will be soon. Wal-Mart has long lead the way in security advancements and that has in part made them the world’s number one company. Security, planning, and foresight is what keeps their prices in check and their assets safe. Have you ever heard of a data breach at Wal-Mart?
There is a fork in the road. Both roads have a proven destination. Pick your path.