Database breaches continue to make headlines, reminding merchants as well as consumers of the importance of securing and monitoring sensitive information. Last week, Global Payment Systems, a third-party payment processor, announced that hackers may have accessed computers that stored personal information from businesses who had applied to have their credit/debit card sales processed by Global Payments. The compromised data appears to have included names, addresses, Social Security numbers, drivers' license numbers and bank account information, according to Global Payment Systems' recent press release.
"It is unclear whether the intruders looked at or took any personal information from the Company's systems; however, the Company will notify potentially-affected individuals in the coming days with helpful information and make available credit monitoring and identity protection insurance at no cost. The notifications are unrelated to cardholder data and pertain to individuals associated with a subset of the Company's U.S. merchant applicants," Global explained.
This announcement is the second this year for Global. Earlier, the company revealed that as many as 1.5 million payment cards had been compromised in a network breach.
The financial system's reliance on third party payment processors has opened the door to identity theft in all regions. Panhandle State Bank says that while none of its customers have reported a breach of their personal or merchant information, it is taking proactive steps to warn possible victims and increase awareness of protective measures. "Our bank is taking a proactive approach by notifying and assisting our merchants above and beyond what Global is doing as well as what is required by regulation," says Curt Hecker, CEO of Intermountain Community Bancorp and Panhandle State Bank.
Hecker says that monitoring accounts for suspicious activity is critical. "We have tools in place to help our business clients guard against identity theft and other losses and to cope with third-party data breaches."
"Any business with a merchant account would be wise to check with their financial institution to be clear on the protections in place and their risk of exposure," Hecker explains. "Banks are very concerned about the security of electronic payment systems, which are part of a rapidly evolving industry. With the growing sophistication of fraud schemes, businesses and individuals must be vigilant about maintaining best practices within their own computer systems in conjunction with utilizing the tools of the bank to decrease the risks of online banking and Internet activities."
Global Payment Systems believes that the intrusion has been successfully contained, and the company indicates they continue to make efforts to mitigate further risks of exposure.
About Intermountain Community Bancorp:
Intermountain is headquartered in Sandpoint, Idaho, and operates as four separate divisions with twenty banking locations in three states. Its banking subsidiary, Panhandle State Bank, offers financial services through northern Idaho offices in Sandpoint, Ponderay, Bonners Ferry, Priest River, Coeur d'Alene, Post Falls, Rathdrum and Kellogg. Intermountain Community Bank, a division of Panhandle State Bank, operates branches in southwest Idaho in Weiser, Payette, Nampa, Caldwell and Fruitland, as well as in Ontario, Oregon. Intermountain Community Bank Washington, a division of Panhandle State Bank, operates branches in downtown Spokane and Spokane Valley, Washington. Magic Valley Bank, a division of Panhandle State Bank, operates branches in Twin Falls and Gooding, Idaho.
All data contained in this report have been prepared on a consolidated basis for Intermountain Community Bancorp. IMCB's shares are listed on the OTC Bulletin Board, ticker symbol IMCB. Additional information on Intermountain Community Bancorp, and its internet banking services, can be found at www.intermountainbank.com.