It looks like data breaches aren’t going away any time soon. More electronic records were breached in 2008 than the previous four years combined, according to the “2009 Verizon Business Data Breach Investigations Report” (DBIR) released in April. Big or small, it seems no business is exempt from the crime.
Network Solutions recently reported in a news release that there was a breach on its servers that may have led to the theft of credit card data of more than half a million people. Reportedly, cardholders’ names, addresses, and credit card numbers were exposed between March 12 and June 8, 2009. The company has since paid for credit monitoring for customers whose information was breached since victims are an increased risk of identity theft and other types of fraud. Credit monitoring is basically a good faith effort for businesses that expose customers’ or employees’ information since it allows the victims to watch their credit more closely and therefore catch identity theft in the early stages.
Unfortunately, organizations expose personally identifiable information (PII), including Social Security numbers, physical addresses, passwords and account numbers, all the time. There are sites dedicated to reporting publicly disclosed data breaches, so you can track the latest breaches. Other than that, there’s really not much you can do about it except know that if a data breach does happen at your work, or a business that you frequent, make sure you get credit monitoring so that you don’t end up with bigger headaches in the future.