Heartland Payroll Office Breached, Some Customer Info Stolen

Remember the massive Heartland Payment Systems breach in 2008 that put 250,000 companies at risk? Heartland is making security headlines again, this time for a burglary in its Santa Ana, Calif. payroll office.

TVs, LCD panels and 11 password-protected desktop computers were taken in the heist. Heartland suspects that four of those computers contained personally identifiable information (PII) from individuals serviced from that payroll office. Heartland notified authorities and about 2,200 people who may have been affected. It's unclear when the burglary occurred but Heartland released a statement about the incident on Monday.

EUAs part of our ongoing commitment to security, Heartland has already encrypted most computers, and as we integrate acquisitions, Heartland is actively working to encrypt any remaining computers in every office that may have access to, or house, PII or payment data,EU the company said in the statement. EUSecurity has been, and will continue to be, the foundation of everything we do at Heartland. We deeply regret this incident and apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Focus on Physical Security

We turned to Ken Westin, senior security analyst for advanced threat protection firm Tripwire, to get his thoughts on the latest story about Heartland Payment Systems. He told us the break-in and theft of computers reflects another side of security that we often forget, physical security.

EUAlthough many companies invest heavily in their security programs -- particularly after a breach -- to help secure their networks from remote hackers, many of the security controls they implement go out the window once a device is stolen,EU Westin said. EUSecuring data on devices from physical theft requires a different security controls such as full disc encryption, which is more often deployed on laptops that leave the office versus systems that stay on premises.EU

In his experience working with law enforcement on several...

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