It was announced recently that the Irish betting service Paddy Power suffered a data breach in which the personal information of almost 650,000 users was compromised. The breach appears to have occurred sometime in 2010 and included privileged data provided by customers in and before that year.
According to The Belfast Telegraph, Paddy Power was contacted by a third party in May of this year and informed that the stolen information was in the possession of someone in Canada. It is believed that the site knew about the breach at the time it occurred, the Telegraph reported, and it is not clear why they waited to inform customers until just recently.
Data Breaches’ Economic Consequences
Paddy Power is one of the largest publicly-traded companies in Ireland with nearly 2 million online users, according to Irish public radio station RTE. The news of the breach has taken its toll, however, as shares of the company have dropped 1.2 percent since an announcement of the breach was posted to Paddy Power’s website on July 31. Customers whose information was compromised made up 29 percent of the company’s total online user base at the time of the breach. Data obtained in the breach included customer names, dates of birth, email and home addresses and phone numbers.
According to a study conducted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, cybercrime and data breaches have cost the global economy $400 billion each year. At least 800 million individual records were compromised in malicious cyber activity last year, the study found. A separate report by the Ponemon Institute revealed that the average cost of a data breach to a company rose 15 percent this year, reaching $3.5 million.
The cost of a data breach, as well as the reputational damage incurred, is increasing at a rapid pace and highlights a growing need for companies to shore up their cybersecurity defenses. Implementing strong authentication techniques for access to sensitive networks and information is a reliable way to ensure enterprise security. Authentication requires users to provide certain types of identification that makes it incredibly difficult for a malicious actor to obtain access to important systems and data. Deploying this type of security tool provides peace of mind to users and drastically improves the protection of enterprise networks and information.