Communicating the Change
The Target Corporation has undergone many changes due to the 2013 security breach where hackers stole personal information from credit and debit cards of at least 70 million customers. Target sales and reputation has dropped from this instance, thus eliciting changes in their security systems, changes in management, and a few policy changes in handling customer information. With the public eye on the corporation’s handling of the situation, Target has been communicating these changes through various means. The changes they needed to communicate were informing customers of the security breach, addressing the bad press coverage to ...view middle of the document...
Using the media to continually update the public about the changes resulting from the breach was beneficial in keeping everyone with access to any type of media (television, internet, newspapers, etc.) informed of Target’s improvements.
In a public statement regarding employee downsizing, they stated: "Target continually assesses our operating model to ensure we are well-positioned to adapt to changing business needs. ... We believe these decisions, while difficult, are the right actions as we continue to focus on transforming our business. We will continue to invest in key business areas to strengthen our ability to compete and thrive well into the future," Hammerand et al., 2014). Although they also stated that the downsizing is in no way a result from the data breach, it can be considered an indirect result of transforming the business, which was a result of the breach. It is known that Target informed their employees of the downsizing pursuant to media publicity, however it does not state which form of communication was used. I have created a sample e-mail notification to employees regarding this issue (See Target Downsizing Email). The statement above was my inspiration, as it describes the corporation’s views on the issue, although vaguely. I would have explained in more detail the reasons and steps taken for the layoffs so that the employees can understand the rationale behind the move.
Another stakeholder within the Target Corporation is its shareholders. They, too, have been affected by the security breach, in that the press coverage following the incident had a negative impact on the company as a whole. Shareholders hired a proxy firm, Institutional Shareholder Services, to consult them as to what steps to take in order to rectify the situation. This firm suggested firing the Board of Directors, as it was their responsibility to protect the company from these breaches. The shareholders, however, decided to re-elect the same board, but stressed the importance of their responsibilities (Forbes, 2014). Somehow the Board of Directors were able to convince the shareholders to not fire them, and I imagine they had set up a meeting to acknowledge what happened was their responsibility and to re-establish confidence in their team. They would have had a change plan set up for review to show the shareholders that firing them would be more detrimental to the company than would be hiring a brand new board. Obviously whatever they did was effective, I would think they were able to provide ideas for the company to get back on its feet and accept the responsibility of protecting the company from future breaches.
It is said that Target Corp.’s breach started with “a malware-laced email phishing attack sent to employees at an HVAC firm that did business with the nationwide retailer,” (KrebsOnSecurity, 2014). There is a belief that the breach traces back to network credentials given by Target Corp. to Fazio Mechanical, where it was stolen through...