A key way in which cyber criminals gain the information they use to perpetrate their crimes in California is through data breaches. According to the White House, a data breach is any intrusion into private or confidential computerized data that has or may result in the unauthorized use of that data. Nasdaq reports that North Americans were the most affected by these breaches of information in 2014, accounting for 76 percent of incidents in the world.
A recent report from California Attorney General Kamala Harris indicates that data breaches are a significant issue in the state even though there is currently technology available that could limit their occurrence. Many companies have not yet been able to keep up with the most current protections available against potential threats, some of which have been recommended since large-scale breaches occurred in the state in 2013. The report also recommended that businesses make the protocols recommended by the Center for Internet Security a part of their security programs.
The report also specifically reiterated the importance of retailers to program the acceptance of chip-enabled payment cards into their terminals. Twenty-four percent of the breaches that occurred involved companies in the retail industry. Today, as many as 98 percent of debit and credit cards used by banks now contain the chip technology. In just the past three years, data breaches comprised the records of over 49 million people living in California.
Cyber crimes can be an incredible challenge for businesses to overcome on their own. Companies facing these issues may find it helpful to seek the advice of an attorney who can explain to them their rights in these matters, as well as any responsibilities they may have to their customers.
Source: Bloomberg Business, “California Reports 49 Million Records Breached in Four Years,” Joel Rosenblatt, Feb. 16, 2016.