By, Don Bush, VP of Marketing, Kount
Here we go again. When I first wrote our blog on the “Breach Bingo: The Five Stages of Breach Denial” over two years ago, even I didn’t expect to be so right and the breach disclosure news to be so horrific. In fact, if you listen closely, I think you can hear the Yahoo! guy’s voice shift from yahoooooo to yahughhhhhh.
Following Yahoo!’s disclosure in September (two years after the fact) that not only had 500 million accounts been compromised, but that the severity of the breach was also worse than they first believed (Stage 4 of the breach disclosure process), news broke yesterday that another one billion user accounts had been compromised in August 2013, making it the largest such breach in history. I think it’s safe to conclude, again, that your data is not secure and that online merchants should be taking extraordinary measures to protect themselves.
One thing that is safe? To say that data breaches, unfortunately, will continue. No matter what policies (PCI), procedures (network security), governmental regulation (even the IRS was breached), or social pressure is applied to the protection of consumer data, cyber criminals will find a way to get their hands on information that helps them keep doing what they do: steal more.
Even when a breach is disclosed in a more timely manner, the fact is that it’s still been months after the data has been put on the open market. That means months have gone by in which fraudsters have been using that data and months after merchants have felt the pinch of fraud and loss. There is not a mechanism in place to stop data from reaching the far corners of the globe faster than criminals can spread the word about fresh new data available for sale.
At Kount, we see fluxuations in the use of compromised data as soon as it occurs. We may not be able to tell where the data was stolen, but we can tell when it is being used illegitimately. It’s like walking into your kitchen and seeing two inches of water on the floor. You may not know where the leak is, but you know there’s a leak. Kount sees stolen data hit the fraudster market in much the same way – we don’t see the breach, but we see the result of it when it happens – not months, or years, down the road. And unlike a flooded kitchen, online merchants who have Kount can avoid the damage.
There is really only one way to protect themselves from this continued onslaught of the criminal underworld: a proper fraud screening solution. A proper solution can detect illegitimate data and purchase attempts in milliseconds, not months. Don’t wait for the news to inform you of a breach, protect yourself today.