According to HSBC officials, it appears that intruders were inside their system from the end of 2014 until roughly the end of March, 2015, a very long time for a security breach. Vital personal information was compromised including: social security numbers, customer names, HSBC account numbers and in some cases telephone numbers.
HSBC has not disclosed how many consumers are involved, but considering that the breach covered several subsidiaries, one can expect that the total is quite large. The breach impacted: Household Finance Corporation of Alabama, Beneficial Financial, Inc., Household Finance Corporation II, Beneficial Homeowner Service Corporation, Beneficial Massachusetts, Inc., Beneficial Maine, Inc., and Beneficial New Hampshire, Inc.
According to security experts, hackers did not have such a hard time getting inside the computer files of HSBC. The corporation failed to adequately encrypt sensitive data. This failure was almost an open invitation to hackers who know that in a case like HSBC if they locate one point of weakness, they can enter and reap the whole store.
HSBC, like all major corporations today, is completely digital. Also, as has become industry standard today, computer files are accessible via the internet as a benefit to corporate executives and employees who may be on the road or working remotely. Cyber security firms, such as Secure Channels stress the importance of investing in protective measures, as well as state of the art detection technology so that if there is a breach, hackers are not able to stay inside the system for months at a time.
What is important now is for forensics to provide sufficient evidence about the breach, so that the proper actions can be taken to ensure the future safety of corporate and consumer data.