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The Home Depot data breach is huge, and yet the general public seems frustratingly unconcerned about it.
Who should worry about data breaches?
You as an individual are at risk. Your bank account is at risk. Your credit is at risk. You're at risk in ways you never thought about.
Merchants are at risk, maybe to the tune of tens of billions of dollars.
Banks are at risk. In fact, the whole financial system could be at risk.
And we hate to think about it, but the entire country is at risk.
And then there's the security implications of breaches of critical U.S. infrastructure imply. And the global geopolitical implications of cyberwar.
We know that's all out there, but today I'm going to put a single data breach under a microscope.
So, put on your lab coats and let's get started…
The E-Castle Walls Are Coming Down
Today, I'm focusing on basic credit and debit transactions.
They're not basic anymore.
The electronic world we've constructed isn't impenetrable. In fact, it's pretty porous.
Almost every day businesses are attacked by hackers, by malware, by criminals intent on stealing proprietary information, trade secrets, and customer information. They're going after our payment card numbers, passwords, addresses – anything they need in order to steal or make money.
Corporate and government data breaches are so common now that there's a website dedicated to what's happening: www.DataBreachToday.com.
The more recent Home Depot breach dwarfs the one last year at Target. So let's zero in on what happened at the hardware giant and what's going to happen in the future.
The Home Depot Data Breach Was Massive
Home Depot's more than 2,000 North American stores were all affected. Some 56 million Home Depot customers' payment cards were exposed – about 40 million Target customers' cards were breached.
Needless to say, the lawsuits are starting to fly.
About the Author
Shah Gilani boasts a financial pedigree unlike any other. He ran his first hedge fund in 1982 from his seat on the floor of the Chicago Board of Options Exchange. When options on the Standard & Poor's 100 began trading on March 11, 1983, Shah worked in "the pit" as a market maker.
The work he did laid the foundation for what would later become the VIX - to this day one of the most widely used indicators worldwide. After leaving Chicago to run the futures and options division of the British banking giant Lloyd's TSB, Shah moved up to Roosevelt & Cross Inc., an old-line New York boutique firm. There he originated and ran a packaged fixed-income trading desk, and established that company's "listed" and OTC trading desks.
Shah founded a second hedge fund in 1999, which he ran until 2003.
Shah's vast network of contacts includes the biggest players on Wall Street and in international finance. These contacts give him the real story - when others only get what the investment banks want them to see.
Today, as editor of Hyperdrive Portfolio, Shah presents his legion of subscribers with massive profit opportunities that result from paradigm shifts in the way we work, play, and live.
Shah is a frequent guest on CNBC, Forbes, and MarketWatch, and you can catch him every week on Fox Business's Varney & Co.