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The Most Recent Data Breaches and What You Should Know

posted on: Wed Oct 21 2015

data breachesThis month has seen an influx of news around data breaches from well-known brands. From cellular providers to hotels, it’s clear that no company is safe from attacks by hackers. Read on to get the details of the latest string of incidents, along with tips on how companies can best avoid becoming a victim.

T-Mobile: Earlier this month, it was announced that hackers broke into Experian’s servers, exposing the personal information of 15 million U.S. T-Mobile customers who had received a credit check while applying for cell phone service over the last two years. The breach left customers’ names, addresses, birthdays and Social Security numbers vulnerable, and has led to a call for the credit agency to reveal more details of the hack and how they plan to stop future incidents. Both companies are offering two years of credit monitoring services and identity theft recovery services for free to consumers who are worried about the security of their information.

Tip #1: One way to combat fraud is to be aware of common signs of fraud. Ensure that all purchase information, including IP location, billing details, and shipping information, are aligned. Scrutinize transactions that are shipping products far away from where the person who ordered resides. Watch out for multiple, large purchases on one card, or the use of multiple cards on one transaction.

Scottrade: Just a few days after the Experian hack experienced by T-Mobile, retail brokerage Scottrade also announced its system had experienced a data breach. Compromised information included customers’ names, mailing and email addresses, as well as Social Security numbers. The company was notified of the hack by federal investigators who are currently investigating cybercrimes that involve the theft of information from Scottrade and several other financial services companies. Hackers accessed Scottrade’s system that stored data from approximately 4.6 million customers from late 2013 to early 2014. Scottrade asserted that clients’ passwords have remained encrypted and that there had been no signs of fraudulent activity on the Scottrade trading platform. In response to the breach, Scottrade secured the point of intrusion and hired extra IT resources to help strengthen security. The company is also partnering with AllClear ID to offer those affected a free year of identity theft protection service.

Tip #2: Data breaches and hacks aren’t going away anytime soon, so businesses must anticipate fraud and take proper precautions to mitigate their risk of being the next target. To best protect your business, ensure that you have a comprehensive fraud plan in place. Look for a provider that offers multiple fraud prevention techniques in one platform. Monitor your systems frequently and regularly to avoid being a target for months on end unknowingly.

Trump Hotels: Seven Trump hotels also suffered a data breach that was initially announced over the summer. Hackers gained access to its systems for a little over a year through front desks, hotel restaurant, and gift shops, resulting in customers’ credit and debit card information being stolen. An investigation found that the hack was done through malware that tracked payment information as it was entered into the hotels’ databases. The hacks occurred at the Trump SoHo New York, Trump International New York, Trump National Doral in Miami, Trump International Chicago, Trump International Waikiki in Hawaii, Trump International Hotel and Tower Las Vegas and Trump International Toronto. Trump Hotels is also offering a year of free fraud resolution and identity protection services to customers who used a card at a Trump hotel during the data breach.

Tip #3: Make transaction security a priority or risk falling victim to fraud, especially as the holiday retail season quickly approaches. With stolen card info selling for as little as $1, card-not-present fraud is the cheapest and easiest it has ever been for criminals. This prevalent threat of data breaches is further fueled by EMV regulation and accelerating mobile payments, giving us a Perfect Storm of CNP Fraud on eCommerce merchants. Check out Kount’s eBook, A Perfect Storm of Fraud, to learn more about three major trends converging and how to avoid getting caught in the storm.

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