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One large retailer agreed to pay over $100m in legal settlements to banks and customers after hackers stole tens of millions of credit card numbers from its database in 2013. That retailer also incurred millions of dollars more in other expenses, including the cost of the investigation, attorneys' fees and voluntary credit-monitoring and identity-protection services.
Although these high-profile data breaches have grabbed headlines, the risk of a data breach cuts across industries and affects businesses large and small. Since 2013, hackers have accessed the sensitive electronic records of at least 500 U.S. companies, according to the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, a nonprofit that advocates for consumers' privacy rights in public policy proceedings.
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