Ever wonder how an Identity Protection solution could help you in light of a data breach like Target? The following describes how our product, PrivacyArmor, could have been able to help a Target customer who may have been compromised as part of the breach.
First of all, it is important to note that no privacy or identity protection product could have prevented what happened. Unfortunately, the bad guys are continuing to use increasingly sophisticated methods for capturing and leveraging our personal information. Further, simply because someone has enrolled in an identity protection service does not mean that they will not become the victim of identity fraud. It is also important to distinguish between theft and identity fraud. In the case of Target, personal information was breached and “stolen”. This was what I would refer to as theft. This theft may result in ID fraud, the opening of new accounts leveraging your personal information for the express purpose of perpetrating fraud, but certainly does not guarantee that identity fraud will result.
PrivacyArmor monitors account applications for fraudulent activity that leverages personal information, but cannot prevent theft. However, there are features of our product that identify the emerging threat of exposure, in advance of other products. The key is then taking appropriate action as rapidly as possible. For instance, with our credential monitoring feature, we are looking for credit card numbers, email addresses, passwords, and other personal information that is exposed within the underground economy. This is part of our PwnedList acquisition last summer. If your information was exposed and dumped or transferred within this blackmarket/hacker world, as it occurred in the case of Target, our PwnedList team acquires the data, consumes the file and alerts those individuals with whom we have a monitoring relationship. This is huge. CreditArmor monitors new credit account activity and our SNAPD monitoring is looking for other account transactions, utility accounts, wireless accounts, payday loans and money transfers, etc. Further, if a fraudster attempts to make a financial transfer leveraging our RSA high risk transaction KBA service, that attempted authentication would have triggered our subscriber to the fraudulent activity as well. Once this exposure is identified, you are alerted and our remediation team (PrivacyAdvocates) jumps into action. They are the clean-up crew that works to remediate issues and restore your identity. The unfortunate reality is that once an individual has been a victim, they are more likely to be victimized again and have continuing problems. Having a team of experts to rely on in this process is critical.
So, although we would not have prevented the Target breach, we would have been able to alert sooner, identify issues, and then remediate them as rapidly as possible, whether that is canceling and reissuing cards, placing fraud alerts, working with creditors, etc. Services such as PrivacyArmor are similar to a home security service for you identity. We can’t prevent everything, but we can alert you as early as possible to the emerging threat of fraud so that you can take action, hopefully, before something bad happens.