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Home Depot breach cost credit unions twice as much as Target hack: Survey

Home Depot breach cost credit unions twice as much as Target hack: Survey

The Home Depot Inc. credit breach cost credit unions $57.4 million to reissue cards, deal with fraud and cover other costs — nearly double the cost of the Target Corp. breach last year, according to a survey taken earlier this month.

The Home Depot breach, announced Sept. 18, affected 7.2 million credit union debit and credit cards, the Madison, Wisconsin-based Credit Union National Association said Thursday in a statement. The survey of 835 credit unions was conducted between Oct. 1 and Oct. 24.

The cost of the violation per credit union-issued card was $8.02, which includes costs for reissuing new cards, fraud and other costs such as additional staffing, member notification and account monitoring, according to the association.

A survey conducted in January of this year found that the Target breach cost credit unions nearly $30 million, the association said. The most recent survey found that, to date, credit unions have not been reimbursed for the costs incurred as result of the Target breach.

“The cost to credit unions of data breaches — which seem to be occurring with increasing regularity — is rising,” as the surveys demonstrate, CUNA President and CEO Jim Nussle said in the statement.

“The bottom line is that credit union members end up paying the costs — despite the fact that the credit unions they own had nothing to do with causing the breach in the first place."

Mr. Nussle said all participants in the payment process have a shared responsibility to protect consumer data. “However, the law and the incentive structure today allow merchants to abdicate that responsibility, making consumers vulnerable,” Mr. Nussle said. “Congress has a role to play in addressing the issue of merchant data breaches by making sure all of the participants are playing by the same set of data security rules, and that merchants who hold consumer data and allow that data to be breached are responsible for the costs incurred by others.”

“Congress must act to protect consumers by taking steps to enhance data security standards for merchants,” Mr. Nussle said.

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