Sony Corp.'s announcement that hackers may have accessed data on 77 million gamers follows a long line of recent breaches. And Neal O'Farrell of the Identity Theft Council says the string of incidents has led to consumer 'breach fatigue.'
While the cause of the Epsilon e-mail breach has not been publicly disclosed, the incident's aftermath has seen a growing list of organizations impacted by the breach. It also has ignited a new debate about the sensitivity of e-mail addresses.
As details about the Epsilon e-mail breach unfold, the list of affected companies grows, including major banks and merchants. Here is the latest list of the companies known to have been impacted by the incident.
When it comes to e-marketing and the reliance on third parties such as Epsilon, Nicolas Christin of Carnegie Mellon University says banks and merchants should "come clean" about the information they share with outside entities.
Communicating with customers about the incident and warning them not to click links in phishing e-mails are all these impacted institutions and companies really can do, says Jeremiah Grossman, chief technology officer of WhiteHat Security.
Privacy Attorney Lisa Sotto says the Epsilon e-mail breach is a warning about the state of data security employed by some third-party service providers. Strong contracts related to security practices must be the norm, not the exception.
"It is the biggest breach we have ever seen; and to say no financial information has been stolen is, well, understating the massive breach and concern," says Neil Schwartzman, founder and chief security specialist at CASL Consulting.
Fraud attempts will escalate, not diminish, as new threats and channels blossom in 2011. Growth in mobile banking and the use of social networks are expected to pose new security challenges, experts say.
American consumers need to know that personal health records must follow government-mandated guidelines for ensuring privacy and security, just as is the case for electronic health records. Otherwise, the use of PHRs may never become widespread.