SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. (3/24/08)--There is no easy solution for dealing with the effects of a recent data breach involving Hannaford Bros. grocery stores, the Association of Vermont Credit Unions said Friday. About four million cards were compromised by the breach, which Scarborough, Maine-based Hannaford announced last week (News Now
March 19). “Although dwarfed in size by last year’s massive TJX breach, this one hits closer to home because so many New England residents buy groceries with their debit and credit cards at Hannaford stores,” the association said (Newsline Express
March 21). The association also said credit unions are handling the breach in various ways. Many credit unions are re-issuing credit cards to protect against fraud. Others are alerting members to the breach and asking them to monitor their accounts closely. Those re-issuing cards must weigh several considerations, including:
* Fees incurred for reissuing cards that may never be used fraudulently; * Potential for losses to members and the credit union if a compromised card is used for fraud; * The inconvenience to members if a card is deactivated before they receive a new card; and * Increased expenses for labor and public relations.
The association recognized that while technology is improving at a rapid pace, criminals continue to find ways to circumvent security. The only good thing to come out of the scenario is for those investigating the case to learn how to prevent future breaches.