Data breaches have become an all-too-common issue in today’s digital world. Every day, hundreds of thousands of people are impacted by malicious cyberattacks that aim to steal sensitive information. Recently, debt buyer NCO Financial Systems Inc. (NCB) faced a data breach that exposed the personally identifiable information (PII) of more than 500,000 people.
Understanding the Breach
On June 8, 2021, NCB notified those affected by the data breach with a letter that detailed the incident and what the company was doing in response. According to the letter, NCB learned on April 14, 2021, that one of their computer systems was potentially accessed by a malicious third-party. Upon investigation, it was revealed that the incident was, indeed, a data breach, and the attackers obtained customers’ names, addresses, Social Security numbers, and phone numbers.
NCB hired a leading cybersecurity firm to investigate the incident, as well as to take various measures to safeguard customers’ data from future security incidents. In an effort to provide customers with additional protection, NCB is offering free credit monitoring and identity theft protection services. They are also providing those affected with an online tool to give customers the ability to request a credit freeze.
Reaction to the Breach
The information exposed in the data breach has caused much concern for those affected, as a combination of this data could be used for identity theft. Identity theft occurs when somebody steals your PII to commit fraud or other crimes. To prevent this from happening, it’s important that those affected by the breach understand the proper steps to take in order to protect their identities.
NCB has since released a statement to the public, emphasizing their commitment to data security. In their statement they noted that they have put protocols in place to fortify their system and protect customers’ information. However, NCB’s initial response to the incident seems to be inadequate for many of those affected, as the breach occurred almost two months prior to when customers were notified.
What Can Customers Do?
In the wake of the data breach, those affected should take a proactive approach in order to protect their identity. First and foremost, those affected should consider signing up for the credit monitoring and identity theft protection services being offered by NCB. This will alert you of any suspicious activity on your credit report and ensure that your identity and finances are secure.
Furthermore, those affected should consider placing a credit freeze on their accounts. A credit freeze prevents new accounts from opening with your PII and can usually be done easily online or over the phone. Those affected by the data breach should also be sure to regularly monitor their banking and credit card accounts for any unusual activity.
Call to Action
No one should have to suffer the consequences of a data breach, but it’s important that those affected take the proper steps in order to protect their identity. As data breaches become more common, it is essential that everyone remains vigilant in order to avoid being a victim. If you know someone who may have been impacted by the NCB data breach, please consider sharing this article and help spread awareness of the incident and how to protect yourself from identity theft.