Kmart announced last week that its information-technology team discovered malware in its systems on October 9. This revelation comes on the heels of the Dairy Queen breach report. 

Hackers apparently used a new, previously undetectable form of malware to hack into Kmart's computer system. The malware was installed in early September, but the company does not yet know whether personal customer information was compromised. Kmart is currently working with federal law enforcement officials, banks and third-party IT security firms to uncover the extent of the breach. Kmart President Alasdir James filed a report about the hack on October 10.  

"According to the security experts Kmart has been working with, the Kmart store payment data systems were infected with a form of malware that was undetectable by current anti-virus systems," said the report. "Kmart was able to quickly remove the malware. However, Kmart believes certain debit and credit card numbers have been compromised."

The company is offering free credit monitoring for those customers who shopped at the store between September 1 and October 9. Other customers are being recommended to actively oversee their bank accounts. If you notice foreign activity on any of your accounts, call your bank immediately to cancel your cards. You can also order a credit report to make sure your identity remains secure. 

Kmart says that it is currently "deploying further advanced software to protect customers' information." 

Since the effects of data breaches are wide-ranging and far-reaching, it's much easier to take preventative measures than to ease the minds of anxious customers and pay for exorbitant legal fees. Make sure your company employs only the most trustworthy credit processing software so that you can have peace of mind in the digital age.