US Cyber Security Attack impacts 1.5 million credit card users

First exposed by leading data cyber security blog, KrebsonSecurity, this data breach at Atlanta-based Global Payments (a credit and debit card processor) is currently believed to be confined to North-America account holders.

According to KrebsonSecurity it remains unclear, however, whether any additional accounts beyond the 1.5 million were exposed by the data breach as the statement from Global Payments focuses only on the number of cards it can presently confirm were offloaded from its systems.

Shares fall. Reputations follow suit.

In response to this latest cyber intrusion, Visa dropped the payment processor from its list of approved service providers, saying that Global Payments will have to re validate its compliance processes with the payment card industry’s data security standard.

While analysts said that MasterCard and Visa were unlikely to face direct costs from the breach, the reality is that MasterCard’s shares fell 1.8% and Visa’s 0.8% as news of the breach hit the wires. As can be expected, Global Payments’ shares dipped dramatically, with the company’s stock losing 9% of its value.

Both from a real cost (to shareholders) and reputational aspect this Cyber Security breach has, and will continue to have, a negative impact on Global Payment’s future standing in the industry.

Data theft of personal account details also affects customer perception of overall Credit Card security, which can have far reaching implications in terms of buyer behavior and brand loyalty.

A Global Cyber Security Headache

This latest breach is just another in a long line of headline-grabbing incidents, across all major industries and countries.

The problem, of course, is that everybody is aware that their company’s business critical data is exposed to a variety of threats (including Cyber Security attacks) but everyone seems to be taking the “It will never happen to us” stance.

When a breach does, inevitably, occur – panic, finger pointing and a war of words between business executives and IT dominate boardroom discussions.

With countries aligning their legislation surrounding data protection and demanding that company board members be held accountable for any breach or loss of critical information, the time for half-hearted action is a thing of the past.

It IS a priority. It IS time to act.

“It’s amazing how often we hear statements along the lines of ‘the security of business critical information is not a priority right now’,” says Cibecs Marketing Manager, Brandon Faber. “What can be more critical to the success of a business than the security of its information? Surely the ability to guarantee business continuity and ensure your company is protected from costly and/or embarrassing lapses in data security is critical to its future well being?”

“Cyber Security is not an IT issue”

The solution is deploying measures and technology that safeguards confidential data and assists organizations to Navigate the Cyber Security Landscape – amongst other threats.

“No company can afford to ignore the consequences of a data breach and the time for action is now,” says Faber. “As Larry Clinton (President and CEO of the Internet Security Alliance) states: ‘Cyber Security is not an IT issue, it’s an enterprise-wide risk management issue that needs to be addressed in a much broader sense.’”

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