One incident of identity fraud occurs every 3 seconds in the United States. In 2012 alone, more than 16 million Americans were notified that their credit card information was compromised in a data breach. Of those, more than 25% went on to suffer identity theft (more than 4.4 million). In addition, the number of identity fraud incidents actually increased by more than 1 million consumers in the past year alone—an alarming trend in today’s digital world.
These statistics show that our secure and confidential data is not as safe as we would like to believe—especially as technology continues to advance. Even though companies and businesses continue to offer the latest security measures, criminal hackers seem to be one-step ahead. According to the study, retailers are the prime target for credit card breaches and fraud, while financial institutions are the top target for obtaining large amounts of sensitive client data.
In particular, the Javelin report showed that the highest rates of fraud were related to payment card and Social Security number data breaches. Besides credit card and Social Security number breaches, 270,000 Americans suffered fraud as a result of a breach of their online banking credentials and 324,000 suffered fraud after their checking, savings, or financial account information was compromised.
Frighteningly, those numbers may actually rise. During this time, U.S. healthcare industries moved to digitize health information and health records in an attempt to reduce their costs. While this move has been good in the short-term for healthcare organizations, it has put health information at risk for data breaches and could actually increase costs for hospitals and organizations.
Why? When identity fraud occurs as a result of a data breach, businesses, whose client database was compromised, can face regulatory enforcement actions and penalties, damage to their reputation, and a reduction in business due to loss of customer confidence. As such, protecting consumer’s sensitive data should be a top priority for organizations and corporations everywhere.
To protect sensitive data from these cyber-attacks, Javelin suggests ongoing risk assessments. Companies need to locate and identify sensitive data, classify this information accordingly, and secure this data based on risk profile. Finally, businesses need to take the extra step to implement and enforce policies to ensure that unprotected data is not stored outside of approved locations.
Sensitive consumer data includes, but is not limited to:
- Consumer bank account numbers
- Payment card information
- Social Security numbers
- Trade secrets
- Personal identifying information
- And more
At Forensicon, we have the technology and the experience to assist your company or firm with all digital and electronic security breaches. With over a decade of experience tracking rogue hackers, we can help your company after a hacker has compromised your data or breached your security. More importantly we can help prevent the attack from even beginning. To learn more about how our computer forensic specialists can assist your firm, call us at 1-888-427-5667 or visit us on the web at www.forensicon.com.
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