Two well-known companies became the victim of data breaches in 2014: Home Depot and Target. As a result, email addresses and credit card information was stolen from millions of customers. These customers must now spend years watching their credit reports and bank accounts for false information and charges- all from information that took seconds to steal. Anyone and everyone is susceptible to hackers, and they have many ways to access your information.

data breaches in action

Data Breaches: The Facts

Home Depot

  • 56+ million stolen credit card numbers (numbers, expiration dates, security code)
  • 53+ million stolen email addresses
  • $200+ million worth of damages
  • The intruder used a vendor’s user name and password to infiltrate its computer network, then used custom-built malware to acquire consumers’ payment card information.

Click here to see the full article.

Target

  • 70+ million credit card numbers stolen (numbers, expiration dates, security codes)
  • $250+ million worth of damages
  • 140 lawsuits- filed by customers, banks, and stockholders
  • Malware was installed via a Target web server, which was fed to an internal Target server, which then sent it onto the entire US Target network environment.

Click here to see the full article on the legal and financial damages.

Click here to read the timeline of the attack and fallout.

 

The Consequences

The victims of these data breaches may now have to endure:

  • Constantly watching their back, credit reports, and bank accounts
  • Fear of being hacked
  • Fixing ruined credit
  • Identity theft
  • Constant stream of spam emails

Who is Responsible?

If an employee is at fault for the breach, the only punishment the employer can dole out is firing him or her. Based on current legal consensus, when you hire an employee, you knowingly risk that his or her mistakes may cost you your life’s work. Employers are financially and legally responsible for the lawsuits and fines, while an employee will just have to go find a new job.  Maintaining PCI DSS compliance does help your company protect consumer data on some fronts, but there are multiple entry points into any network. Carelessness is not an option. The stakes are high for all parties, but more so for businesses who fail to properly secure their data.

Loyal IT provides customized infrastructure solutions for businesses of all sizes, and offers security services designed to protect your data and assets. Contact us for a free infrastructure audit and tailored security solution.