Attorney General Lynn Fitch announced Tuesday that Mississippi, along with the Attorneys General of 45 other states and the District of Columbia, has obtained a $17.5 million settlement against Georgia-based retailer, The Home Depot. This resolves a lengthy multistate investigation of a 2014 data breach, which exposed the payment card information of approximately 40 million Home Depot consumers nationwide. The State of Mississippi will collect $147,874.48 through this settlement.
“When companies fail to protect personal data, they leave millions of consumers vulnerable to identity theft and misuse of their personal information,” Fitch said in a statement. “This settlement highlights the importance of implementing procedures to protect consumers’ sensitive personal information and every business’ duty to do so.”
The breach occurred when hackers gained access to The Home Depot’s network and deployed malware on its self-checkout point-of-sale system. The malware allowed the hackers to obtain the payment card information of customers who used self-checkout lanes at The Home Depot stores throughout the U.S. between April 10, 2014, and Sept. 13, 2014.
In addition to the $17.5-million total payment to the states, The Home Depot has agreed to implement and maintain a series of data security practices designed to strengthen its information security program and safeguard the personal information of consumers. Specific security provisions agreed to in the settlement include:
- Employing a duly qualified chief information security officer reporting to both the senior or c-level executives and board of directors regarding Home Depot’s security posture and security risks.
- Providing resources necessary to fully implement the company’s information security program.
- Providing appropriate security awareness and privacy training to all personnel who have access to the company’s network or responsibility for U.S. consumers’ personal information.
- Employing specific security safeguards with respect to logging and monitoring, access controls, password management, two factor authentication, file integrity monitoring, firewalls, encryption, risk assessments, penetration testing, intrusion detection and vendor account management.
- Consistent with previous state data-breach settlements, the company will undergo a post settlement information security assessment, which in part will evaluate its implementation of the agreed upon information security program.