Kmart has joined the ranks of Home Depot, Target, Neiman Marcus, Michaels, and Dairy Queen in announcing that its payment data systems have been hacked. According to federal regulators, the breach by those behind the malicious software occurred in early September which gave the hackers access to customers’ credit and debit card numbers.
This latest attack is yet another example of the vulnerabilities shoppers face in the digital age. Although Kmart said an investigation revealed no personal information such as PIN numbers, email addresses and social security numbers were compromised, the ongoing trend should serve as a wakeup call to companies.
PCI compliance by vendors is of paramount importance and working with a reputable payment processor is the best way to protect customer’s information. Consumers should also take proactive steps by monitoring the credit cards for suspicious activity and reporting it immediately to their card issuer. There is a growing fear that with news of so many breaches occurring, consumers may be growing complacent and not keeping an eye on their accounts as much as they should.
Sears, the parent company of Kmart, said the breach has been contained and malware removed, however added: “If customers see any signs of suspicious activity, they should immediately contact their card issuer. More guidance is also available on our website, kmart.com and customers can contact our customer care center at 888-488-5978.”
Vendors who are concerned about keeping their customers’ data safe should contact their payment processor and ask to see what safeguards are in place.