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Retail Breach Compromises Data of 5 Million Customers

Conventional retailers are grappling with their future, as the fate of brick-and-mortar shopping is increasingly being called into question. Part-in-parcel with the retail sector’s identity crisis are concerns about adapting to omnichannel customer outreach, and how to secure customer data and business assets in a digital-forward environment.

As the latest headlines have proven, even some of the most established brands in the commercial space are facing an uphill battle defending against the latest cyber threats, as news broke recently that more than 5 million Lord & Taylor and Saks Fifth Avenue customers were involved in a massive data breach.

Hackers were able to infiltrate the point-of-sale (POS) system of literally every store in the Hudson’s Bay Company’s – the parent group of Saks, Lord & Taylor and Saks Off Fifth – network of physical outlets, although customers who used the company’s digital platforms were apparently not impacted by the event.

The breach hit customers who visited these locations from May 2017 until this past month, according to an outside cybersecurity analyst group. Roughly 125,000 of the records – mostly credit and debit card information exchanged for in-store purchases – were put for sale on the dark web, making this one of the largest and widest-reaching data breaches to actively impact retail customers to date.

However, the company made sure to disclose the incident as soon as was viable to assure loyal customers that their information wasn’t at risk. Considering that many of the latest breaches that have stolen headlines – including the blockbuster Equifax data breach of 2017 – were reported months after company insiders had discovered the issue, this is a comforting act in an otherwise disconcerting situation.

In fact, a central tenet of the European Union’s upcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is that not reporting breaches within 72 hours of discovery will leave companies liable for epic fines and potential litigation. This is to directly address the issues regarding nondisclosure that have protected major brands at the expense of customers in the past – an activity that will only harm businesses and consumers if left unregulated in the future.

This kind of disclosure will be important in the future as retailers adopt more channels for consumer outreach and customers are more wary of the dangers their data faces. The iboss Distributed Gateway Platform gives brands insight into all of the traffic crossing their network perimeter, making it the ideal tool for companies that value transparency – and keeping the best interest of their loyal customers top-of-mind.

As retailers become more dependent on their network security to ensure their revenue streams are protected, they’ll need to employ a defense-in-depth approach to gateway security that puts multiple stop gaps between bad actors and a brand’s most business-critical corporate data. The iboss Distributed Gateway Platform gives teams a holistic view of all traffic entering and exiting the network while employing advanced threat protection features that keep valuable information out of harm’s way.

To learn more about how retailers can partner with iboss to brace for the omnichannel future, read our latest whitepaper, “The Future of Retail.


As president and co-founder of iboss, Peter Martini has played a major role in developing iboss' innovative technology, and has helped shepherd iboss’ phenomenal growth, since its founding. He has been awarded dozens of patents focused on network and mobile security, and with his brother, has been recognized by the industry with several prestigious awards, including, Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year and one of Goldman Sachs 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs. More recently, iboss was ranked number three for security companies in the Deloitte Fast 500.