AT&T is now the latest company to be rocked by a data breach. Though, the breach is small and has a significantly smaller scope than previous data breaches have, but the point is that it will rock the trust of customers once again.
Data breaches, especially with online information being stored in places that seem to be getting compromised on a daily basis, is just something that we’ll have to start better preparing for, and eventually handle more effectively.
As for the personal data compromised during this latest breach, AT&T explained that an individual had gained unauthorized access to Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers and the services within the company that customers would have been signed up to.
In other words, the most personal and crucial data an individual here in the United States could have compromised.
The employee was terminated, and federal authorities have been notified, according to AT&T. In a statement an AT&T spokesman said, “Unfortunately, we recently learned that one of our employees did not follow our strict privacy rules and inappropriately obtained some customer information.”
The statement then went on to reassure customers and investors alike that the breach was minimal in size (personal data of about 1600 customers), and that it was simply related to one individual, who was previously an employee. Security breaches like this have become so commonplace that it’s almost become unattractive to mainstream news agencies to cover the breaches in the same fashion they once did.
At one time this was an event that – like the Target breach – was the only story in the news for an extended period of time, but now, several breaches later of all shapes and sizes – it seems to have desensitized many.
AT&T can be added to a long list of companies that have had security or technological breaches over the last 12 months. JPMorgan Chase and Company, Target, Home Depot, Apple, and even Microsoft have all been a part of data breaches of varying sizes, which have involved everything from account data, to personal information, to credit card numbers.
Many companies have to step up their security and offer more to stop hackers, and those perpetuating these actions before greater amounts of data are lost and used for criminal activity.