Harbor Freight Tools reported a cyber-attack in late July after it was discovered by credit card companies. With over 400 brick-and-mortar stores, online retail capabilities and catalog sales, the amount of data breached could qualify it as one of the largest retail breaches of 2013.
This data breach follows a long line of other data breaches from earlier this year. In the spring, large convenience chain, Mapco, alerted customers of a breach which affected multiple locations in seven states and a data breach of the Presbyterian Anesthesia Associates' website of Charlotte, N.C., affected nearly 10,000 people.
2012 saw 621 confirmed data breaches. 66% of those took months or more to discover and 69% were discovered by external parties. These reports were taken from the 2013 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, which studied eighteen organizations around the world to perform their analysis.
Correspondence went out to customers in a letter July 20th noting, "Harbor Freight Tools was advised by credit card companies that it may have been the target of a cyber attack against our payment processing system similar to attacks being reported by other national retailers." Though an exact number of customers affected by this particular breach has not been released by Harbor Freight, Data Breach Today reports "one card issuer says more than 10,000 of its cardholders have so far been impacted; another issuer estimates more than 20,000 of its cardholders have been affected."
One thing is for certain, data security attacks are becoming more common with the increase in online collection and processing of card data. Companies must take charge of their own payment card systems and make sure they are compliant with data security standards. In fact, the National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU) is proposing to hold merchants more accountable for data security breaches with their 5-point plan for regulatory reform. It is now more important than ever that the controls your business has in place adequately protect consumer information.
For the full Harbor Freight Tools story visit Data Breach Today's website.
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