The danger to personal information from breaches continues to get worse.

Personal information exposed on the web has hit record levels according to the Q3 2017 Data Breach QuickView Report. In the first nine months of 2017 alone, there have been 3,833 publicly disclosed data breaches exposing more than seven billion records.

This reflects the depth of the data breach epidemic, and shows how valuable personal data is on the dark web.

Equifax logo
The major Equifax breach is just one of many incidents that will keep risk departments busy in the years to come. Bloomberg News

Companies should communicate to consumers that they should assume their information has been compromised, and take appropriate measures. That includes using unique, strong passwords on all sites, and changing them periodically. They should also keep close tabs on their credit card statements and bank account transactions.

Most institutions now allow users to set account alerts that will provide timely notification of large-dollar transactions, as soon as they are attempted. This puts the control in their hands, to monitor their accounts in real time, rather than waiting for their monthly statement to arrive in the mail, after the damage is done.

Unfortunately, hacking is a very lucrative business, and the constant breaches generate all the data hackers need to grow their rings for the next attacks.

Companies have to keep this in mind and continuously reassess their fraud strategies; never get too comfortable.

It is important to have the right layers of security in place, ideally those that evaluate passive and behavioral biometrics, as they are proving to be the most reliable, but it is equally important for companies to monitor the traffic on an environment and to adjust the rules when something anomalous is detected. Cyberattacks are growing in sophistication and businesses need to be ready for that.