Heartland CEO on Breach Response

Bob Carr on Processor's Reaction to Historic Breach
From 2010: When he first learned of the full magnitude of the Heartland Payment Systems data breach, Heartland CEO Bob Carr had one overriding thought: "Can we survive this?"

Today, in the wake of a new data breach involving payments processor Global Payments Inc, Heartland's story has added relevance. [See Banks Alerted of Massive Card Breach.]

More than three years after the incident, not only has Heartland survived its historic disaster, but the payments processor and Carr himself have been recognized as major players in the effort to improve payments security - particularly through end-to-end encryption.

"I think, frankly, that we were the leaders in getting that discussion rolling at the level it's been conducted at, and I'm very proud we've taken that role," Carr says. "It makes me feel we've taken this situation and made a positive out of it, as much as that's possible."

In an exclusive interview conducted in 2010, Carr talks about how he responded to the Heartland data breach, discussing:

  • His strategy upon learning of the breach;
  • Lessons learned from the crisis - what he'd do differently;
  • Advice to other business leaders when disaster strikes.

As Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Heartland Payment Systems, Carr is responsible for the strategic direction and growth of the company. He co-founded Heartland Payment Systems with Heartland Bank in 1997, quickly building the foundation for an end-to-end credit, debit and prepaid card processing engine. Under his guidance, Heartland has been named a FORTUNE 1000 company; climbed the rankings from No. 62 to No. 5 in the nation and No. 9 in the world; from 25 to 3,400 employees; from 2,500 to 250,000 business locations and from a portfolio of $0.4 billion in bankcard volume to more than $80 billion. Today, Heartland processes more than 4 billion payment transactions annually.

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