Just fewer than half of Americans say that a retailer, bank or credit-card company has told them or a household member that their payment card details were stolen in a data breach, according to the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll.
That figure has contributed to what many retail analysts are calling “breach fatigue,” in which consumers stop worrying about cyberattacks because they appear in the news so frequently. In the past year alone, major breaches have been reported at Target, J.P. Morgan Chase, Home Depot, K-Mart, SuperValu and others. In many of those cases, the victims and card-issuers pledged to protect consumers from fraudulent charges.
Some 45% of Americans said they had received such a breach notification letter from a retailer or card-issuer that their payment data had been affected by a breach. The Journal doesn’t have comparable data from previous years on the percent of Americans who said they’d been affected by payment card data theft.
The poll also found that more Americans than ever think they have been targeted in Internet crime. As of December, 15% said either they or a member of their household had been hit by online fraud or hacking. When Gallup asked the same question more than four years ago, 11% answered yes.
The Journal/NBC poll of 1,000 adults was conducted from Dec. 10-14. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.
Some 45% of Americans say they or a household member have been notified by a credit card company, financial institution or retailer that their credit card information had possibly been stolen as part of a data breach.
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Home Depot revealed last Thursday that cyber thieves absconded with 53 million email addresses as part of a previously-disclosed breach.
The biggest U.S. home improvement retailer also said the perpetrators managed to access its systems by obtaining login credentials for a third-party vendor. That information alone didn’t provide access to the point-of-sale systems; however, the hackers were able to “navigate” their way to elevated privileges.
The strategy of finding an entryway through a “weak link” is fairly common. Indeed, hackers reportedly found their way into Target’s network through a similar path. JPMorgan Chase’s “corporate challenge” website has also found itself at the center of a probe into how cyber attackers broke into the banking giant’s network.
As evidenced, time and time again, data breaches and the associated costs are continually on the rise. The time is now to beef up your internal systems to protect your customers, your security and your brand.
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October has been a bad month for data breaches. Before month’s end, over 76 million customers of JP Morgan Chase have been affected by a massive data breach, as well as millions of other customers from Staples, Dairy Queen, Big K, and 30+ others.
See a list of over 35 cyber attacks, data breaches, information security threats and other types of attacks here.