A new report shows the impact of data breaches on the California retail industry. This information comes from Kamala Harris of the state's Department of Justice, which mentioned the nearly 660 data breach reports noticed within the past four years.

Although Social Security Numbers and health information were singled out as the most popular target of a breach, retail businesses made up a quarter of the state's breached entities, higher than the financial and healthcare sectors.

Across all industries, the greatest amount of breaches (more than half) were attributed to malware and hacking. Other causes included physical breaches, including those caused by a lack of encryption, and errors, such as internet leaks that expose information. The source also noted the link between victims of data breaches and more serious forms of fraud.

To counter these trends, the report suggests multiple measures that would improve breach mitigation or promote effective policies.

"Organizations should make multi-factor authentication available on consumer-facing online accounts that contain sensitive personal information," one of these recommendations states. "This stronger procedure would provide greater protection than just the username-and-password combination for personal accounts such as online shopping accounts, health care websites and patient portals, and web-based email accounts."

The National Retail Federation recently highlighted another threat to company security: employee fraud. Retailers need to be as vigilant as any other business when it comes to preventing workers or contractors from instigating fraud as well. This can include rescreening processes that accompany a more unified approach to combating harmful threats. 

Using authorized credit card POS software, retailers may have a better chance to address security issues and keep data protected over the course of long-term system use. Visit our website for more information on secure options for card processing.