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Inside TDV - The Data Vault Blog

More Than Just Credit Cards

While credit and debit card numbers continue to be the primary targets for criminal activity, theft of other types of personal identifiers is on the rise. Contained within a recent 123 page report by Trustwave, in depth research showed a 33% increase in the theft of non-payment data, accounting for almost 45% of all incidents nationwide. As the protections on card information increase, identity thieves are increasingly finding it easier to gain access via more roundabout ways, including using personal information gleaned from email, bank statements, and more.

Using this secondary data, malicious attackers are often able to guess the answers to password reset questions or gain access in some other fashion, allowing for a complete takeover of financial assets through legitimate backup systems. This diversity of attacks is proving problematic for security practices accustomed to focusing purely on card information, but safeguarding additional personal information is not as hard as you might think. Some 71% of all identity theft victims do not realize they are compromised, and the average time from attack to detection by the victim was almost 3 months – showing a serious awareness issue. By taking the same vigilance applied to protecting card numbers and extending it to other sensitive information, the average time to detection can be reduced to around a week total, saving valuable time and money.

Data thieves aren’t going away anytime soon, but vigilance is key to reducing your chances of being a victim. As long as personal information can be monetized and some gain can be made financially by criminals the marketplace will exist, but improving practices as a society will help lessen it’s impact on the economy worldwide.

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