In recent weeks, fraudulent credit card purchases in international markets have been traced back to a breach of the corporate network of an Arizona-based grocery store chain, according to BankInfoSecurity. An industry expert told the news source that the stolen payment information was likely sold on an underground Web forum.

Bashas’ Family of Stores, which operates 130 locations throughout the state, publicly confirmed the hack yesterday and said the company is instituting additional POS card processing security measures.

“We were recently the victim of a cyber attack by highly sophisticated criminals who gained access to parts of our systems to capture payment information,” the company said in a press statement. “Bashas’ is and has been compliant with all Payment Card Industry (PCI) security requirements. However, we recently located and removed a highly sophisticated piece of malware that has never been seen before in the industry.”

Unfortunately, these types of cases are popping up more and more. Hackers are constantly developing new malware that companies have never dealt with, and merchants cannot afford the luxury of waiting until someone else is targeted and a solution is thought of. Businesses that take this approach are likely to be victimized before a fix is uncovered.

Instead, they must take a proactive stance on system security. Using credit processing software that comes with robust and responsive technical support, without the burden of hidden fees, helps them to stay ahead of the curve and implement system updates as new malware hits the Web every day.

Bashas’ has said that it is working with forensic specialists and law enforcement officials to trace the source of the breach and ensure that future incidents can be prevented. However, it is difficult to get the bad taste out of customers’ mouths after just one instance of credit card theft and fraud, and that can cause serious damage to small and large businesses alike.