In the eyes of an identity thief, corporations have gigantic bullseyes on their metaphorical backs. This is because businesses, especially large corporations, store and manage a great deal of personally identifiable information (PII). This is extremely appealing to identity thieves, as they have the potential to purloin valuable information in bulk. Analog security breaches can cause irreparable damage to both the organization and the individuals whose information was compromised.
No organization is completely immune to a security breach. If businesses are not fully securing customer information, they are potentially inviting identity thieves into their confidential data.
Delayed Impact of a Data Breach
The customer may not feel the impact of the breach for up to six months. By then, a credit line of tens of thousands of dollars could be taken out on an unsuspecting individual, putting them in extreme debt, not of their own making. This is just the beginning of the fallout, because this will not happen to just a small group of customers; it can potentially impact the credit of thousands of people.
This will take a major financial toll on all involved. Victims will find themselves in both financial and legal trouble. It can take years to repair the damage incurred from identity theft. Along with financial and legal issues, victims of a data breach will face emotional distress. It’s an uneasy feeling knowing that someone else has possession of your most personal information.
Once the investigation into the attack progresses, it generally turns out that the common thread for all of the victims is that they shared the same physician, mortgage lender, banking institution, insurance provider or were in the same database of another organization. This indicates that a particular organization was the primary target.
Damages to the Targeted Organization
The customer is not the only victim. The targeted organization will face serious repercussions. Since they were unable to fully protect their customers’ personal information, they are liable for the damages that could affect anyone whose information becomes compromised. This could become a litigation nightmare for the targeted organization. More than likely there will be many lawsuits and settlements.
The lawsuits and financial losses are not the only negative impact of analog data breaches. There will be a major hit to the targeted organization’s reputation. While an actual breach may have only happened once, it affected so many. The hit to the reputation will cause a lack of trust from former, current and future customers. This can take years to overcome.
Thus, it is clear that all organizations, small and large, must do their utmost to prevent analog security breaches in their data storage program, just as they would for one that is digital.
Missed the previous entries in the series? Catch up on Parts 1 and 2: