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September 16, 2014

Home Depot in Hot Water Following Recent Data Breach

Not even the Home Depot will have the necessary tools for rebuilding its brand image following a recent data breach that may have exposed information from more than 40 million payment cards to hackers. And now, on top of dealing with a damaged reputation, the company is facing potential legal ramifications for failing to protect sensitive consumer information.

According to the Home Depot, the data breach affected customers who shopped at its stores as far back as April 2014—which means that customers were affected throughout the busy summer shopping season. To put matters in perspective, the infamous Target data breach that occurred last winter only affected consumers who shopped at U.S. locations during a three-week stretch.

As a result of the data breach, one U.S. consumer has already sued the Home Depot for failing to properly safeguard customer information. And two U.S. senators, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Edward Markey of Massachusetts, are now asking the federal government to further investigate the data breach that occurred on the company’s payment-card processing systems. At least five states have already begun probing the issue as well.

“If Home Depot failed to adequately protect customer information, it denied customers the protection that they rightly expect when a business collects such information,” the senators said in a joint statement. “Such conduct is potentially unfair and deceptive, and therefore could violate the FTC Act.”

This should be a lesson to business owners who collect sensitive customer information. Preventing a data breach in your organization is difficult as it involves staying one step ahead of hackers. But it’s even harder when you don’t have access to a robust network monitoring service that can report suspicious activity when it arises. 

Click here to learn more about how Apex managed IT services in Norwalk, CT can help your business avoid the pitfalls of a major data breach.

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