Some Frightening Facts about Data Breach


I just received a note from LinkedIn explaining why I was recently required to change my password. It was because of a data breach that occurred four years ago. Canadian consumers are more aware than ever of their exposure to data breach and the potential risk that accompanies illegal access to their personal information and financial resources.

  •  94% of consumers surveyed are concerned about data breach
  • 75% or retailers surveyed feel they are not doing enough to prevent infiltrations

Brunswick Group, Main Street vs. Wall Street – who is to blame for data breaches?

The companies and brands that we all do business with are at substantial risk to data breach because of the multiple points of cyber infiltration available to hackers (internet enabled POS, mobile payments, corporate and ecommerce web sites) and the linkage of personally identifiable information with payment information.

Data breaches are not rare occurrences. They occur every day – typically impacting less than 200 individual records. But occasionally major breaches occur, involving millions of customer records and their associated personal information.


In financial services and retail, customers are the weakest point and greatest risk for hacking. Did you know that 90% of Android and 35% of IOS retail Apps have already been successfully hacked? Mobile payments through smart devices that have been infected expose retail systems to Malware infiltration. Verizon’s 2016 Data Breach Investigations Report confirms this with reporting of the top 4 classifications of data breach incidents in 2015:

Data Breach Incident                     Finance                Retail

Web App Attacks                            82%                      26%

POS Intrusions                                 n/a                        64%

Card Skimmers                                9%                         3%

Insider Misuse                                 4%                         2%

Protect Yourself

If you think you have been the victim of a data breach…

  • Immediately alert financial institutions, credit issuers and local police of the theft
  • Contact Canada’s major credit reporting agencies to discuss placing a fraud alert on your file
    1. Equifax: 1-800-465-7166
    2. Trans Union: 1-877-525-3823 (Quebec residents: 1-877-713-3393)
  • Replace ID cards like health, driver’s licence and SIN: 1-800-622-6232
  • Contact Canada Post if your mail is missing
  • Keep records of steps taken to clear your name and re-establish your credit
  • Report the incident to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre: 1-888-495-8501

Protect Your Brand

Your customers are your most valuable asset. Ensure that their personal information is protected to the best of your ability and they are informed in a timely and comprehensive manner about any breach that may affect them.

  1. Pre-breach: Create targeted communications describing security measures and protocols that have been put into place to keep personally identifiable and financial information secure. Describe the proactive measures that have been put in place to mitigate the risk of improper and illegal use of personally identifiable information (PII) in the event of a breach.
  2. Breach: Identify the origin and extent of the breach, advise Federal & Provincial regulatory bodies (Privacy Commissioners) as required and activate immediate breach communications and instructions to affected customers.
  3. Post-breach: Provide advice to customers on how they can protect themselves (as LinkedIn has done) and consider remediation for affected customers, including credit monitoring and restoration services.

Contact Justin Smith at 214-546-0983 for a consult!