2011 saw many large data breaches, and the email marketing firm Epsilon was just one of many large organizations to be the target of a major cyber attack. In April 2011, a spear-phishing attack led to the loss of data from 75 of Epsilon’s major clients. This particular case of data theft was notably complex and massive, since Epsilon serves such major brands such as Kroger, TiVo, Marriott Rewards, Brookstone, and Walgreens. All of these companies were affected by the attack, since their customers’ data was the information that had been leaked.
Outsourced email marketing gone wrong
It is not uncommon for companies to outsource their web marketing to firms like Epsilon, but when there is a breach that allows information to get into the hands of cyber criminals, there are some complex liabilities to consider. While Epsilon is ultimately responsible for the security of their clients’ information, businesses are still held responsible in the eyes of consumers. As individuals lose faith and trust in companies after having their personal information compromised, Epsilon saw major backlash from the companies affected.
The scope of damage caused by this attack is still hard to assess, though estimates put the number of email addresses stolen around 60 million. Determining how many of these email addresses facilitated phishing attacks targeted at individuals is difficult, but it is likely that many people had personal information compromised through emails containing viruses or those appearing to come from trusted companies requesting account information. The liabilities faced by Epsilon in 2011 totaled about $225 million along with another $45 million in lost business.
Even on a much smaller scale, cyber attacks can be devastating events for businesses. You can keep your Southern Arizona business protected with IT strategic planning and assessments provided by Nextrio. For a closer look at our services, call us at (520) 519-6301.
This article is part of our collection of WORLD FAMOUS SECURITY BREACHES!