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Study: Data breach exposure is getting worse

BY Dan Berthiaume

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — It’s not just media hype — retailers’ exposure to data breaches really is getting worse. According to the 2015 Internet Threat Report from security technology provider Symantec, 11% of all data breaches Symantec recorded in 2014 hit retailers.
 
Only the healthcare industry represented a larger share of breaches. In addition, retailers provided a leading 59% of all identities revealed in breaches during 2014. Total breach incidents during the year rose 23% compared to 2013.
 
Symantec research also reveals that it took software companies an average of 59 days to create and roll out patches, up from only four days in 2013. There were 24 total “zero-day” vulnerabilities, or software security gaps that hackers exploited the same day they were discovered, tracked in 2014.
 
Additionally, Symantec observed attackers:
 
• Using stolen email accounts from one corporate victim to “spear-phish” other victims higher up the food chain;
 
• Taking advantage of companies’ management tools and procedures to move stolen IP around the corporate network before exfiltration;
 
• Building custom attack software inside the network of their victims to further disguise their activities.
 
In addition, “ransomware” attacks where hackers take over a victim’s computer and refuse to return control until they receive payment, rose 113% in 2014. Notably, there were 45 times more victims of crypto-ransomware attacks than in 2013. Instead of pretending to be law enforcement seeking a fine for stolen content, crypto-ransomware attack style holds a victim’s files, photos and other digital content hostage without masking the attacker’s intention.
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Rite Aid names new chief information officer

BY Michael Johnsen

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid Corp. announced Monday that Steve Rempel, a highly experienced information technology executive, has been named Rite Aid's SVP and chief information officer.
 
"Steve is an information technology expert with a proven track record in creating, driving and delivering value and results through innovative technology solutions," said Frank Vitrano, SVP and chief administrative officer for Rite Aid. "His vast retail experience will be extremely valuable to Rite Aid as we continue to develop our technology and services platforms and strategies to further strengthen our business operations and enhance the experiences of our valued customers and associates."
 
In this position, Rempel will have responsibility for all aspects of the company's technology and information operations, including computer systems, network infrastructure, telecommunications and data security as well as the continued development and execution of Rite Aid's immediate and long-term information technology strategy. 
 
Rempel will report to Vitrano.
 
Before joining Rite Aid, Rempel served as chief information officer, president and CEO for Lenexa, Kan.,-based Balance Innovations, the leading provider of reconciliation and cash management solutions for the retail industry. During his tenure at Balance Innovations, he had oversight for the company's technology strategy and provided strategic, financial and operational direction.
 
Rempel began his career at Safeway, one of the nation's largest food and drug retailers. During his 35 years at Safeway, Rempel held a variety of information technology positions with increasing responsibility. Serving as the organization's group VP of application development, he had enterprise-wide responsibility for all elements of the information technology applications process, including design, development, procurement, development and support.
 
Rempel earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of the Fraser Valley in British Columbia and will receive his M.B.A from Auburn University this spring.  
 
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Target does creative fitness deal with Lifetime

BY Mike Troy

MINNEAPOLIS — Target is flexing its marketing muscles with the introduction of a 39-minute workout regimen at Lifetime Fitness clubs to shape up sales of its proprietary C9 Champion activewear brand.

Dubbed the C9 Challenge, Target and Life Time Fitness, operator of 114 health clubs nationwide, developed the novel idea of offering the branded and strenuous exercise class and promoting its exclusive availability at Life Time’s clubs. The class will be available in May and was developed in collaboration with Life Time experts and Target’s C9 Champion brand ambassador Adam Rosante, author of “The 30-Second Body: Eat Clean. Train Dirty. Live Hard.”

“The C9 Challenge class we’ve developed with Target’s C9 Champion ambassador Adam Rosante will be social and fun, with a broad appeal for women and men alike yet, and as Adam says, push them to realize they’re stronger than they think they are,” said Kimberly Spreen-Glick, Life Time national senior director of group fitness. “Life Time is known for bringing our members effective, innovative and one-of-a-kind group fitness classes designed and taught by the industry’s best instructors. We can’t wait for members to experience C9 Challenge.”

In addition to promoting brand awareness of the proprietary Target brand in an unconventional way, the class is designed to challenge nine core areas of the body in 39 minutes. Each class begins with a dynamic warm up, followed by three fitness blocks focused on upper body, lower body and core followed by a one minute cardio burst to drive the heart up and ensure a metabolic after burn.

“This new Life Time class smashes the notion that you need to spend lot of time at the club to get a solid workout,” said Rosante. “We all want to look good and feel great in class, and Target’s exclusive line of C9 Champion activewear can deliver that at a great price without sacrificing on performance.”

In addition to the class, C9 Champion will be integrated throughout Life Time destinations in a variety of ways including in-club video and signage, surprise and delight moments for those taking the class, and sneak peeks at new products.

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