Most people swipe their debit and credit cards multiple times a day without a second thought, expecting that retailers will protect credit card information and the identities of their customers. While this is the goal of retailers large and small, sometimes there can be data breaches that compromise credit card numbers and the personal information that can goes along with those digits. In winter of 2013, Target experienced such a breach that racked up $3.6 billion in damages, putting the information of 70 million customers in the wrong hands.
Data breach timeline
During peak holiday shopping season from November 27 to December 15, customer information was collected and stolen. The timing of this attack made it the largest and highest-profile breach in recent years at the time. Throughout this time, an estimated 40 million debit and credit cards were reported stolen.
The likely source of the massive theft was software installed on Target’s point-of-sale systems. In addition to credit card numbers and PIN data, thieves gathered information such as names, addresses, and email addresses for about 70 million customers.
Harsh impact on sales
Target’s data breach put a massive dent in the company’s Q4 earnings for 2013. Early estimates of sales anticipated stronger-than-expected sales, but the breach put the company behind with a 2.5% decline in sales for the quarter. The financial damages that the breach initially reflected only represent a fraction of the damage done by this data leak. When customers have their information compromised, they lose trust in companies, even those as established and well-recognized as Target.
Is your business protected with security solutions that keep valuable information private? If you are unsure of how well your security infrastructure would hold up to an attack, call Nextrio at (520) 519-6301. Our IT services in Southern Arizona can be fine-tuned to meet your needs and keep your business strong.
This article is part of our collection of WORLD FAMOUS SECURITY BREACHES!