In the latest in a string of 2018 data breaches, Panera Bread has leaked customer information including names, email and physical addresses, birthdays, and partial credit card numbers. It appears this data was left available for at least eight months (since August 2017), in plain text, on the company website.
The news of Panera’s data leak follows two other recent and massive data breaches. On March 29th, Under Armour announced the breach of an estimated 150 million users of its MyFitnessPal app. Just three days later, Hudson’s Bay Company confirmed that hackers stole the credit and debit card data of more than 5 million Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor shoppers. It seems we can’t go a day without breaking news about another marquee organization being breached, and brands are reeling to maintain their reputations.
There have been hundreds of other 2018 breaches across banking and financial institutions, businesses, higher education, the government and military, and healthcare providers. No industry is off limits for cybercriminals looking to make a quick dollar off your individual, company, customer, or employees’ personal information by selling it on the Dark Web. Tweet This!
The Correlation between Data Breaches & Identity Theft
It’s safe to say that everyone’s personally identifiable information (PII) is online in some capacity. Our increasingly digital world has made everything from ordering food, paying bills, keeping in touch with friends, and performing our jobs more convenient. But, as the increase in data breaches has shown, those conveniences come with consequences.
For instance, it’s reported that data breaches lead to increased identity theft. Cybercriminals and hackers don’t need to know everything about an individual to have a detrimental impact on their livelihood. A scary and common method criminals use to access your information is referred to as synthetic identity theft. Tweet This! Essentially, the fraudsters cobble together bits and pieces of someone’s personal information, combine it with fictitious information, and use that to create a new identity. Since often times synthetic identity theft has ties to the person’s real PII, they’ll still feel the negative effects.
There are many other consequences that result from a data breach outside of identity theft. Unfortunately, due to the sheer quantity and widespread reporting of these breaches, consumers have become desensitized to the threats facing their well-being. This sense of apathy has become known as “data breach fatigue”.
Reducing the Risk Upon Your Employees
In today’s digital world, the time to get serious about identity theft protection is now. In light of the risk all around us, the impact on your employees can be severe. Whether Panera, Equifax, Uber, or any other number of breaches, if your employees’ personal information is compromised they can then fall victim to identity theft. And, it can take them dozens to hundreds of hours out of the office to restore their good name. Not to mention, this extremely personal violation leads to severe emotional stress and is detrimental to employee experience.
Nobody wants to see their employees distracted, missing time from work, or generally stressed out and unhappy. By being proactive and offering identity theft protection as an additional workplace perk, your employees can rest assured that the full strength of IdentityForce is behind them to monitor and alert them of suspicious activity before it’s too late. For those organizations who rollout IdentityForce as an employee benefit, we provide an exclusive breach guarantee, which provides fully-managed, white glove restoration for any employee whose identity is compromised, regardless of whether they have fully enrolled. We have a 100% success rate in restoring our members’ identities. In addition, for organizations who offer IdentityForce to their workforce, our award-winning ChildWatch product is free.
New Breach Business Whitepaper
It’s time to build security into the fabric of your organization by protecting what matters most – your employees and customers. Download our complimentary whitepaper, The Impact of Today’s Data Breaches on Your Organization & Your Employees, which contains insights and recommendations for how businesses can defend themselves in an era where personal information is no longer personal.