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Dec 19, 2013 11:31 PM by Connie Murphy

Analyst: Security breach is 'alarming'

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - One security analyst says it's "alarming" that Target could experience a data breach putting up to 40 million credit and debit card accounts at risk, considering all of the security the store chain has in place.

Avivah Litan of Gartner Research notes that companies like Target spend millions of dollars a year on credit card security measures. She says she thinks the theft may have been an inside job.

The incident is particularly troubling for Target because it has used its branded credit and debit cards as a marketing tool to lure shoppers with a five percent discount.

Still, Litan says she doesn't think the breach will have much of an effect on Target's sales. She says, "People care more about discounts than security."

Analyst Brian Sozzi of Belus Capital Advisors says Target has been getting more people into the stores with its discounts for using a Target-branded card. He says it's been "a big win" for Target. And he adds, "If they lose that trust, that person goes to Wal-Mart."

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