The holidays are a time to celebrate and rejoice with family and friends. However, during the most recent holiday shopping season, many found themselves worrying whether or not the gift they purchased for a loved one put them in jeopardy due to cyber-attacks.
Cybersecurity is the unsung linchpin of every company that has grown increasingly dependent upon vulnerable technologies, whether to communicate, to store sensitive data, or to manufacture and deliver its products and services.
Attorney General Eric Holder is urging Congress to require businesses to quickly alert consumers and law enforcement agencies in the wake of a significant data breach, similar to the ones at Target and Neiman Marcus.
Illinois residents are increasingly worried about how businesses protect their personal and financial information in the wake of widespread data breaches in 2013. The Illinois Attorney General’s Office saw a 1,600-percent increase in data breach complaints compared to 2012. The office received more than 20,500 complaints in 2013, and identity theft complaints recorded the largest increase – from 2,544 complaints in 2012 to 3,009 in 2013. Within this category, Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office reported a significant increase in complaints about data breaches specifically – from 33 complaints in 2012 to 576 in 2013.
The Secret Service is urging U.S. lawmakers to do more to prevent the cyber thefts similar to those that have recently hit Target Corp and other major retailers. According to William Noonan, a top agent with the Secret Service’s cyber operations branch, “Legislative action could help to improve the nation’s cybersecurity, reduce regulatory costs on U.S. companies, and strengthen law enforcement’s ability to conduct effective investigations.”