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News Now

CU System
URM card breach costs NW CUs $687,000
SEATAC, Wash. (3/5/14)--Before the Target data security breach hit, credit unions in the Spokane, Wash., area were dealing with the aftereffects of a grocery-store chain breach--one that cost them $687,000.
 
The Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA) surveyed credit unions about the November 2013 breach linked to Spokane, Wash.-based URM Stores Inc. (News Now Dec. 18).
 
The average affected credit union incurred more than $62,500 in total losses--a number that was noted in the March 4 edition of The Spokesman-Review. The URM breach caused severe losses to local financial institutions, said Debie Keesee, CEO, Spokane (Wash.) Media FCU. "The URM impact was much more concentrated in this area than Target," Keesee told The Spokesman-Review.
 
"Whether it's a Target or a non-Target, credit unions are covering the costs," Lynn Heider, NWCUA vice president of public relations and communications, told News Now.
 
NWCUA prepared a fact sheet to take to the Credit Union National Association's 2014 Governmental Affairs Conference to inform the Washington state delegation about the costs incurred.
 
Combined with the results from CUNA's Target data security breach, which reported $30.6 million in losses nationwide, the fact sheet "armed us with really good eye-opening data that shows how much damage these breaches do," Heider added.
 
The fact sheet also called for stronger data security standards for retailers; required reimbursement of costs incurred by credit unions after a breach; and the ability for credit unions to share the name of the merchant where the breach occurred.
 
CUNA also is pressing Congress to address the shared responsibility that retailers and credit unions have in protecting consumers' data.


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