Data Breaches

News came out last week that CVS, the country’s second largest pharmacy chain, may have suffered a data breach of its photo uploading and printing website.

For some time, the government has been working through the aftermath of the Office of Personnel Management hacking event that compromised the highly detailed, sensitive information of as many as 22 million people. In what experts are considering a separate data breach, the National Guard has announced its database has also been compromised. 

Internal data breaches occur when an employee of a company or organization uses his or her position to gain access to individuals’ personal identifiable information. Typically, the reason for accessing and gathering the information is so the employee can then sell it to identity thieves or use it to open new accounts and make purchases in the victims’ names.

Summer is here and though the kids may be on vacation, hackers certainly are not. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center’s Breach List and Data Report, data thieves have been working as hard as ever to get the personal identifying information of millions of Americans in 2015. Year-to-date, the 2015 ITRC Breach List has captured 400 breaches, spread across five industry sectors.

When news came out that the Office of Personnel Management—the agency within the federal government that serves as the HR department over government employees—had been hacked and 4.2 million citizens had their highly sensitive data stolen, that was cause for alarm. But now that the OPM has been hacked again, the damage is quite different.

Another week, another breach.  That is how it seems these days.  However, even once a breach has left the headlines, consumers need to keep their guard up because scammers and identity thieves don't just stop with their initial stolen goods.

Back in 2008, Heartland Payment Systems, a credit card payment processing center, suffered a data breach that exposed an estimated 130 million credit and debit card accounts to hackers. While this event was certainly a big deal at the time, a more recent data breach of its payroll processing system may have even bigger consequences.

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