Need for national data security standards reaches critical stages

On Cyber Monday, the need for national data security standards reached an all-time high.

Dan Berger, NAFCU’s president and CEO, made the following statement after revealing that data security breaches have occurred even more commonly than last year:

“With this void in protection, every retailer’s sale sign is a welcome sign for cybercriminals and a hazard for consumers who may unwittingly fall victim to a retail data breach.”

We ‘have moved to EMV and chip-and-choice standards and have been using them for over a year, but that alone is not a silver bullet. Specifically, data security breaches occurring as a direct result of fraudulent transactions via e-commerce or malware have been causing quite some mayhem.

Adobe reports that $5 billion was spent online during the holiday weekend, with a record-breaking $3 million spent on Black Friday alone. This is 21% more than last year. Those looking for deals online during the shopping holiday are at high risk of becoming victims of online fraud.

According to the ITRC, we have seen 781 data security breaches in 2015, and 901 in 2016. Out of those, the business sector was responsible for 397 incidents (including retailers) and 5.5 million exposed records.

NAFCU has pushed the need for Congress to establish some form of data security standards for retailers and merchants. The Data Security Act would establish strict disclosure rules as well, requiring retailers to notify consumers when their personal information has been compromised.