Data breaches lead to 4X higher incidence of identity fraud

In a recently released report, Javelin Research has highlighted a key finding that is important to those of us who have received a data breach notification letter from an organization that we have entrusted with our personal information — whether a bank, healthcare provider, insurer or merchant. This finding is that individuals who receive a data breach notification leter are four times (4X) more likely to become victims of identity fraud.

“The Javelin report, Data Breach Notifications: Victims Face Four Times Higher Risk of Fraud, is based on multiple years of data and includes updates on 2009 data breaches, implications of changes to the legislative landscape and the technical means by which data breaches occur.”

This statistic is striking, in that it has been thought that the vast majority of data breach incidents are benign in nature. And because of this perception, recipients of data breach notification letters to some extent may have become desensitized to the level of risk of fraud that they face.

This research should be a wakeup call to consumers, but even more importantly, organizations that maintain databases of personal information on their cusotmers and patients need to be hyper-aware that data breach incidents are being increasingly proven to do harm to those in the affected populations.

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