Grand pronouncements can define an era, or at least crystallize provocative sentiment. In 1966, a New York Times headline proclaimed, “God is Dead.” In the early 90s Bill Gates infamously said, “banks are dinosaurs.” Neither of these really panned out, but here’s one that might: in June, Tower Group’s George Tubin declared banks have “lost the battle” over protecting personally identifiable information (PII), and should assume “clients and prospects no longer have any uncompromised private information.”
Tubin’s comments came in the same month that researchers at Carnegie Mellon published a paper demonstrating they could use statistical techniques to predict Social Security numbers, and in the same year that Heartland Payment Systems reported it was robbed of data on more than 100 million card users, the largest known breach. “You get to the point where you realize that this just isn’t stopping,” says Tubin, known for his straight-shooting industry assessments. “We’ve just failed, and we have to do something different.”
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