Corporate Data and ID Theft
April 10th, 2012
Your financial institution secures cash in a vault, but how do they secure your personal information?
The names are well-known—Citibank, Sony, Google and many others—and each is a respected, successful leader in their industry. But they shared at least one thing in common in 2011: hackers were able to gain access to their system and steal the identities of hundreds of thousands, and maybe millions of their customers’ most sensitive information.
In 2011, the number of consumers who received notification that their information had been lost through a breach increased by 67%.1 And those consumers were 9.5 times more likely to experience fraud.1 So the question of what companies are doing to secure this important information is top of mind.
90% of businesses in a recent study were attacked and breached in 2010.2
A recently released independent study among information technology and security professionals in the United States found that in 2010, 9 in 10 of the companies in the study had some kind of breach, and the frequency of attacks was increasing.2
But some companies are being held back from developing effective data security measures due a lack of available resources, the complexity of the security issues, conflicting priorities and low employee awareness. And that means personal and financial information could be exposed, leading to identity theft.
So what gets stolen, anyway?
At the top of the list for personal information stolen in data breaches are credit and debit card numbers.1 But depending on the information stored at the source and the sophistication of the breach effort itself, a lot of other information could also be compromised—names, addresses, passwords, medical information, account numbers and even Social Security numbers.
Data breaches aren’t going away and there isn’t much you can do about it.
Even if you’re doing everything right to protect yourself from identity theft, the challenge with breaches is that they come from third-party organizations. And although we all expect them to handle our personal information discreetly and with a high degree of security, the breaches we hear about all the time are certainly cause to wonder how secure our identities really are.
1 Javelin Strategy & Research. “2012 Identity Fraud Survey Report.” 2/12.
2 Ponemon Institute, Perceptions About Network Security, June 2011.