NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Sony (SNE) needs to fight through this security breach and protect its data by encrypting it, says Robert Owen Carr, CEO of Heartland Payment Systems (HPY) and author of Through the Fires.

Carr has a firsthand experience in dealing with cyber attacks. In January 2009, his company learned that it had suffered a security breach in 2008. 

Although the broader market collapse didn't help matters, the event derailed the stock price, as shares fell from the mid-$20s down to just $3.50. 

That almost took the company down, Carr explained. So while the situation with Sony is unfortunate, it can be overcome. 

HPY Chart
HPY data by YCharts

Following the data breach in 2008, the company deployed an end-to-end encryption into the U.S. marketplace to help prevent another attack. The company also helped to form a council with its competition that kept a closer monitoring over the "bad guys" and what kind of hack could come next, he said. 

In regards to Apple's (AAPL) Apple Pay, Carr says the new payment system is good for his company, since it offers customers another payment alternative. He added that Apple Pay is a "great product" that has "excellent security." 

Carr said he expects 2015 to be a good year for Heartland Payment Systems. The company has made a few acquisitions which should boost business, and the economy is strong, which is good for consumer spending. "We're looking for a great 2015," Carr concluded. 

-- Written by Bret Kenwell 

Follow @BretKenwell


TheStreet Ratings team rates HEARTLAND PAYMENT SYSTEMS as a Buy with a ratings score of B+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate HEARTLAND PAYMENT SYSTEMS (HPY) a BUY. This is driven by some important positives, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated."

You can view the full analysis from the report here: HPY Ratings Report

This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.

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