Data Breach Case Study: Heartland Payment Systems
On January 20, 2009, Heartland Payment Systems, the nation's sixth largest credit and debit card processor announced that cyber criminals had compromised its computer network-- gaining access to its valuable customer information. Heartland handles more than 100 million card transactions every month for 250,000 merchants. Fraudulent transactions involving cards that were compromised in this data breach are being reported every day. Banks across the nation are reissuing credit and debit cards. Heartland's stock value has plummeted. At least one class action lawsuit has already been filed. The full extent of the damage is not known yet but many industry experts estimate that more than 100 million accounts were compromised-- making this data breach the largest in history. Heartland uncovered the malicious software in its processing system only "after being alerted by Visa and MasterCard of suspicious activity surrounding processed card transactions." Read on to see how companies like Heatland can minimize the risk of data breach and fraudulent transactions.