Security experts try to get ahead of hackers after Target breach


Target is reportedly facing a major lawsuit from two banks who say a data breach around the holiday shopping season cost them money.

There are also new plans to protect consumers from future breaches.

For Target customers like Lafayette's Christine Winsted, the big pre-Christmas security breach hit close to home. Her friends and family were affected.

"Fraudulent purchases made on their account," she said.

They blame Target, because, Winsted says, "it was the only purchase they made and shortly after that, their account was hacked."

"It happened to them and I think it could happen to anyone," said Target shopper Adam Helfrich of the retail giant.

"Our dependence on technology is growing faster than our ability to secure it," said a guest speaker at Purdue University's annual Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security (CERIAS) conference.

Some of the nation's best and brightest in cybersecurity look ahead at the two-day conference.

"We approach not only the technology, but the human factors, the policies, the psychology," said cybersecurity expert Dr. Eugene Spafford at Purdue.

He says if you look at recent corporations whose customer's data has been exposed, it's not just about their security software.

"In one of the recent breaches, it's been widely reported that alarms that had been installed had gone off, but people ignored them, because they thought it was unnecessary to respond to it, they thought it was testing," Spafford said.

Alleged human failure is behind the lawsuits filed by banks Wednesday against Target and its data security services. Spafford says the other problem is companies won't spend money to upgrade their security.

Cyber experts are now building the future - stronger security systems to prevent hackers, but also trying to make people physically safer, too.

Some customers remain skeptical.

"There's always going to be someone out there trying to get into that, too. That's just the day and age we're in," Winsted said.