WASHINGTON — Ellen Richey, chief enterprise risk officer for Visa, told a meeting of data security executives Wednesday that the overall data security environment has definitely improved, though she noted that the PlayStation data breach at Sony indicated how much farther remained to go.
"No one reading the headlines this morning can believe we have gone as far as we have to go in securing data,” Richey told security and card executives attending Visa's Security Summit 2011. “But we have made progress.”
Some of the signs of progress included steadily growing compliance to PCI data standards, the industry's chief way of securing payment networks. Richey reported that 75% of top processing merchants, so called Tier 1 and Tier 2 merchants, worldwide are PCI compliant and 95% of similar-sized merchants in the U.S. are regularly PCI compliant.
Other signs of success included growing consumer confidence in online commerce, up 30% in the last year, as well as an increasing ability on the part of card issuers and merchants to catch fraud using neural networks, Richey said.
But she also reminded the audience of the Sony headlines and that 61% of consumers still believed the criminals are winning the data security wars. “Obviously, consumer confidence is the hardest nut to crack and why we continue to work as hard as we do to keep one step ahead of the criminals in this struggle," she said.