Over 500 million financial records hacked in the last year

I read an interesting article in USA Today recently.  The FBI says that over 500 million financial records have been hacked in the last 12 months (given that the Chase hack accounts for over 80 million records alone, this number in itself is not surprising).

Here are a few tidbits out of the article that should get your attention:

  • The FBI says that nearly 519 million financial records were stolen in the last 12 months
  • Joseph Demarest, Assistant director of the FBI’s cyber division says “You are going to be hacked … have a plan”
  • 35% came from website breaches, 22% from cyberespionage, 14% from point of sale and 9% when swiped your credit or debit card.
  •  About 80% of the hacking victims in the business community didn’t even realize they’d been hacked until they were told by the government, vendors or customers.

Probably the most telling item on this list is that most companies did not figure out that they were hacked themselves.  This is very different than having your car stolen.  When that happens, you go looking for your car and it is not where you left it.  You know you have a problem.  When a good hacker breaks into your business systems, nothing is missing, nothing is askew.  Absent you being proactive, how would you know you have been had?

It’s scary, but doing nothing is not an option any more.  It is much harder to hit a moving target – so plan on moving.  Otherwise you are a sitting duck.


Mitch Tanenbaum