Goodwill Industries International, Inc., a non-profit organization that aims at helping people who are disabled or disadvantaged through various programs, is investigating a possible data breach that might have impacted several of its stores across the United States.
The organization, which has 165 community-based agencies in the United States and Canada, became aware of the possible theft of payment card data on Friday after being notified by federal authorities and a payment card industry fraud investigative unit. An investigation is underway, but so far a breach hasn’t been confirmed, Goodwill said in a statement on its website.
“Goodwills across the country take the data of consumers seriously and their community well-being is our number one concern. Goodwill Industries International is working with industry contacts and the federal authorities on the investigation. We will remain appraised of the situation and will work proactively with any individual local Goodwill involved taking appropriate actions if a data compromise is uncovered,” the organization stated.
Sources in the financial industry told security blogger Brian Krebs that stores in at least 21 states appear to be impacted by the breach, which could have started as far back as the middle of 2013.
“When we hear about cases involving organizations like Goodwill — whose focus is not driven by financial gain — becoming victims of cyber crime, we are saddened. It’s a shame that every organization must now assume that it will be breached in some form or fashion. And the fact that they don’t discover the breach themselves can be embarrassing to the organization,” Ray Rothrock, chairman and CEO of RedSeal Networks, told SecurityWeek.
Without proper visibility into the network security infrastructure that protects their business assets, organizations have no chance of defending themselves against targeted attacks. On the other hand, CEOs have a new risk to consider — outsiders notifying them of inefficient security systems, Rothrock said.
“The potential breach at Goodwill is another wake up call to organizations that breaches are happening more often and getting bigger. A big reason for this is that they’re happening from the inside, which increases the magnitude of the breach as well as makes them difficult to detect,” said Eric Chiu, president and founder of cloud control company HyTrust. “Every company is at risk and needs to take a proactive approach to security. Traditional perimeter-based security approaches do not address insider threats — companies need to take an ‘inside-out’ approach to security to make sure that critical systems and data are secure from inside the network.”
“The cyber security threat landscape gets more challenging every day, not just in terms of the volume of new threats but in terms of their degree of sophistication and increasingly targeted nature. For the most part, we tend to think of cyber-threats as a phenomenon that affects large enterprises and government entities: organizations that have the capabilities, staff and resources to buy the latest security products and figure out how to get them to work together,” Paul Lipman, CEO of iSheriff, told SecurityWeek.
“Unfortunately, smaller organizations (SMEs and non-profits) are faced with exactly the same cyber security challenges as their larger colleagues, but don’t have the budgets or manpower to adequately address the threat. Cyber-criminals know this and increasingly turn their attention to attacking these less-defended targets,” Lipman added. “SMEs and non-profits need to get smart and start implementing standard best practices to secure critical systems and address their weakest points.”