Monthly Archives

April 2017

What Can a Data Breach Cost You?

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It’s no secret that identity theft is a stressful problem to have, but do you know just how much a breach of information can cost you or your organization? I’ll give you a hint: it’s a lot.

What are the numbers?

According to the Ponemon Institute, the average total cost of a breach in 2016 was $4 million, up 29% since 2013. Meanwhile, the average cost per record lost to a breach was $158. It’s also important to note that the more sensitive information that is lost, the higher the price of recovery. For example, the cost per record breached ranged from $172 for retail industry breaches to a staggering $355 per record for healthcare organization breaches.

Why are costs rising so rapidly?

For starters 48% of data breaches in 2016 were malicious attacks, and such targeted attacks tend to cost more to repair and restore. The breach itself is already an expense to manage, but the after-shock of breaches can include several issues. For instance, businesses that fall victim to data breaches tend to lose both customers and employees following the attack due to a loss of trust and credibility. In 2016, churn rates rose by 2.9% and the increase in information lost to hacked systems may have a hand in that increase.

On top of that, cyber thieves are improving their stealth modes and becoming increasingly harder to anticipate and even detect. When you or your business is caught off guard with a breach and you have to spend time detecting the source and addressing the problems, the costs associated with such issues rise exponentially. Time is money, and the more time you spend trying to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it, the more money is coming out of your pocket.

How likely are you to get hacked?

In the span of 24 months, there is a 26% chance that you or your organization will experience a breach. The truth is that everyone can become a victim of stolen information and identity theft. Think of all the ways you share your personal data: your bank, your social media accounts, and your employer. If any one of those outlets experiences a breach, your information has the potential to land in the wrong hands and the dollar signs begin to rack up against you.

So, what can you do?

According to the Ponemon Institute study, there have been some tried and true ways to save on breach mediation costs. Some savvy organizations have taken steps such as appointing a Chief Information Security Officer, involving Business Continuity Management, participating in threat sharing, using extensive encryption methods, and having an incident response team in order to cut some of the costs when dealing with a cyber attack. While these methods can add strength to your proactive efforts, you don’t need to be alone in the fight against cyber thieves.

iLOCK360 has your back

With sharp rises in identity theft and data breaches, you need protection you can rely on, and iLOCK360 services will save you money and stress in the process. With iLOCK360 protection, you can expect:

  • Complete CyberAlert ℠ coverage
  • Protection of your identity 24/7/365
  • Credit report monitoring
  • Social Security number tracing
  • Full service identity restoration
  • $1 Million of identity theft insurance

Our services can help you cut your losses and all of the costs associated with a data breach. Since iLOCK360 constantly monitors the dark web, your credit reports and your Social Security number, we can quickly detect any and all abnormalities that can stem from a hack, thus saving you from spending countless hours trying to find the source and address it.

As for taking care of the restoration, we’ve got you covered. If you experience a data breach, you can contact an iLOCK360 Certified Identity Theft Restoration Management Specialist who will work on your behalf to restore your ID and let you get on with your life. And that’s not all. For even more peace of mind, you will be insured with a one million dollar insurance policy against expenses in the event that your identity and information is compromised.

For more information on how iLOCK360 can save you time and money on protecting your identity and personal data, please visit

What Do Corporations Owe Breach Victims?

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Cyber thieves are successfully stealing masses of customer and employee data from major companies at a dangerous rate. Hackers are running away with information like credit card and Social Security numbers, putting victims at risk of identity theft.

Many companies respond to data breaches by providing those affected by the compromise with at least one year of free credit monitoring. However, some consumers feel those protections do not reach far enough and do not protect them in the event that more sensitive information, like a Social Security number, has been stolen. When one year of free credit monitoring is not enough, consumers turn to legal action.

So far, companies involved in breaches could rest easy knowing a legal rule protected them from consumers seeking damages through legal action. Until now.

In 2015, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling which revived a lawsuit against the luxury department store Neiman Marcus. The suit covered a 2013 data breach in which hackers stole credit card information from as many as 350,000 customers, and the Court of Appeals ruling makes it easier for consumers to sue the companies which lose their personal information in data breaches.

Prior to this ruling, companies have been able to avoid consumer lawsuits by invoking the Supreme Court case Clapper v. Amnesty International USA.

The Clapper case, which was about phone records and national security, required potential plaintiffs to show a risk of “imminent” and “concrete” injury. It is frequently used to prevent consumer class actions suits involving data since victims who fear future fraud or ID theft cannot show injury until their identity has already been stolen and used criminally.

The turning point of the Neiman Marcus case occurred when Chief Judge Diane Wood explained, “Why else [other than to cause harm] would hackers break into a store’s database and steal consumers’ private information?” With Wood’s reasoning, the threat of having your information stolen and used against you changes from hypothetical to imminent, operating under provisions from the Clapper case.

The department store’s three-year-old case has concluded with Neiman Marcus agreeing to pay $1.6 million to settle the breach class action in Illinois federal court.

For companies, there are steps to take that can reduce the risk of legal action, and that includes handling data breaches with care and efficiency.

  1. Immediately contact IT professionals if you know or suspect that your organization has experienced an attack on your data systems.
  2. Report the breach to police authorities and the FBI.
  3. Locate the threat and disconnect breached systems to limit damage and prevent further data breaches.
  4. Contract outside IT forensic experts to handle the ongoing investigation. This is an essential part of ensuring credibility with customers, vendors and investors as solely relying on an internal investigation can seem biased.
  5. Gather all relevant executives and public communications teams to draft the company’s response to the data breach.
  6. Notify necessary parties as soon as possible. This includes notifying affected parties, both consumers and business partners, and law enforcement.
  7. Get set up with credit monitoring and breach support services for your organization and those affected by the breach.

Companies are responsible for keeping their consumer information safe and private. When they fail at doing so, they owe their customers a swift and effective response to the data compromise.