Ingrian Networks on July 31 introduced a 60-day program for compliance that puts together PCI consulting and software "in order to bring customers into compliance in 60 days or less." Yes, Virginia, there is a devil.
In this case, the devil is in the details (as well as in an executive office at Ingrian). In a statement about the program, Ingrian suggests that it will deliver compliance within 60 days or less. Never mind that its reckless to make such a comment without knowing the particulars of a retailers system and the problems that have to be remedied.
Retail security managers are nervous, and some may fall for this pitch and not ask: "Does this claim make sense? Does it pass the laugh test?"
Were not alone in wondering about this program, as Security Incite had some wonderfully cynical thoughts as well.
Reaching out to Ingrian didnt do much good. First, it engaged in the PR torture tactic of issuing a statement during a time when company officials couldnt discuss it.
Secondly, the statement (near the bottom) raises the possibility that they really cant do this for every company, by saying, "To see if your organization qualifies for this program, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org," an internal sales e-mail address. The address should have been email@example.com, but it wasnt. I called the salespeople who would receive such messages the day after the statement and the person I spoke with had no idea about what the qualifications were but promised to get back to me. Of course, he never did.
Someone else working for the company—whose identity well suppress—called and said that the 60 days wasnt a promise. It was merely an observation of how long these things typically take. Funny, the release doesnt say that. If thats true, why call it a 60 Days to Compliance Program? Pricing was also conveniently not mentioned. The person was trying to get someone at headquarters to discuss this, but he never called back either.
As PCI (Payment Card Industry) deadlines are nearing, these kinds of games are going to become quite popular. For all I know, the Ingrian program is quite effective and useful, but trying to pitch it as a panacea, promising a sure thing where such a deliverable is not possible, really undermines the message. Whether it undermines retail security is still an open question.
Retail Center Editor Evan Schuman has tracked high-tech issues since 1987, has been opinionated long before that and doesnt plan to stop any time soon. He can be reached at Evan_Schuman@ziffdavis.com.
To read earlier retail technology opinion columns from Evan Schuman, please click here.
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