The pace of data breaches and hacks in the U.S. seems to be relentless, with a bumper crop reported in the first part of this year. Over a period of a few days in April, a combination of attacks at several North American companies compromised the data of millions of consumers.
April 1: Hudson’s Bay Co., parent company of Saks Fifth Ave. and Lord & Taylor, announced a breach affecting 5 million debit card records used in its stores. Online systems were not involved in the attack, connected to a well-known cybercrime outfit called Joker’s Stash.
April 2: Panera Bread disclosed a breach exposing personally identifiable information and partial credit card numbers of millions of consumers who had ordered food through the bakery chain’s website. A security researcher had notified Panera of the problem on Aug. 2, 2017, but Panera initially dismissed the warning as a scam.
April 4: Delta Air Lines, Best Buy, Sears and Kmart were among companies whose customer data was compromised at various levels when hackers breached the systems of San Jose, Calif.-based 7.ai, which provides third-party online customer and chat services for major consumer brands.
Consumers are paying attention. In a recent survey by RSA, 73% of consumers said their awareness of data breaches rose over the last five years (between 2012 and 2017), compared with 19% who said their breach awareness remained the same. Just 3% said they’re less aware of breaches than they were before and 6% weren’t sure. RSA’s report was based on a YouGov online survey of 7,500 consumers in the U.S., U.K., Germany, Italy and France conducted between Dec. 15, 2017 and Jan. 3, 2018.