States react to data breaches and potential identity fraud

The state of Montana recently announced that a server at the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services was hacked in May, exposing 1.3 million records potentially including names, addresses, birth dates and Social Security numbers. In 2012, a data breach at the South Carolina Department of Revenue exposed tax records and financial information belonging to nearly 4 million individual filers and 700,000 businesses.

As these incidents show, the issue of privacy and security for online portals and data services is center stage for state agencies. State and local governments need to ensure the security of constituent PII and comply with applicable regulations and guidelines for online access to that data.

Stolen identity data is in rising demand from fraudsters using stolen names, addresses, and Social Security numbers to generate fake tax returns or apply for state benefit programs.

Along with ways to protect access to data, we recommend a fraud mitigation solution which identifies, analyzes and eliminates identity misuse by fraudsters as they are attempting to open new accounts or gain services. Before or after a breach, there are steps individuals and organizations can take to prevent being victims of identity fraud. For more information, contact one of our specialists.