Protecting and securing payment systems and consumer data is a never-ending task for all parties in a payment network, and it's also a moving target.
At the Electronic Transactions Association's TRANSACT conference in Las Vegas, credit card companies, banks, payment processors, regulators and retailers all have the same fear: as soon as a new system or firewall is put in place, hackers have already figured out how to bypass it.
"The fundamental problem is you can't provide 100 percent protection for a house of straw," explained Mallory Duncan, senior vice president and general counsel for the National Retail Federation. "Retailers need to work with the card industry to help the system move to a house of wood to make it easier to secure."
Many retailers have had payment and data security teams in place for years, and have been working to migrate payment systems from the current magnetic stripe card readers to EMV systems, or the chip-embedded cards and PIN-code technology widely used in Europe.