The information accessed and obtained through a data breach is sometimes retained by the party conducting the cyberattack or sold to another party. Regardless of who ends up with the information, affected consumers are at an increased risk of identity theft or financial losses.
While there is not yet any evidence suggesting that Strategic Benefits Advisors, Inc. was negligent in the maintenance of consumer data, the breach raises serious questions about the company’s efforts to keep consumer data secure. If it turns out that Strategic Benefits Advisors, Inc. mishandled or failed to protect consumer data, affected parties may be able to pursue financial compensation through a class action lawsuit.
Attorney Richard Console explains, “It’s easy to place all the blame for a data breach on the person who hacks into a company’s system; however, this ignores the legal and moral obligation businesses owe to their customers. When someone gives a company their business, they trust that the information in the company’s possession will remain private—and out of the hands of criminals. While protecting consumer data requires a business to undergo some effort and expense, in our current environment of widespread hacking, this is a cost of doing business that all companies must take seriously.”
On September 19, 2021, Strategic Benefits Advisors, Inc. was the victim of a “criminal cyberattack.” On October 19, 2021, the company sent data breach notifications to all affected parties, informing them of the breach and what they can do to protect themselves. While the company did not release details on how the third party was able to access consumers’ data, a subsequent investigation revealed that the names and Social Security numbers of 58,431 individuals were compromised.
Strategic Benefits Advisors, Inc. reports that the company does not know which data was accessed or if any data was removed from the company’s systems. However, an investigation is ongoing. On November 12, 2021, Strategic Benefits Advisors sent a follow-up letter outlining additional details about the breach.
If it turns out that Strategic Benefits Advisors, Inc. did not take the necessary steps to ensure the security of consumers’ data, affected patients may be able to name Strategic Benefits Advisors, Inc. in a class action data breach lawsuit.
While the investigation into the breach is ongoing, those in receipt of a data breach letter from Strategic Benefits Advisors, Inc. should take the following steps to protect themselves:
- Carefully review the letter sent by Strategic Benefits Advisors, Inc.;
- Retain a copy of the data breach notification letter;
- Enroll in the free credit monitoring service provided by Strategic Benefits Advisors, Inc.;
- Change all passwords and security questions to online accounts;
- Frequently review all credit card and bank account statements for any signs of fraud or unauthorized activity;
- Monitor credit reports for any unexpected changes or signs of identity theft;
- Contact a credit bureau to request a temporary fraud alert; and
- Notify all banks and credit card companies of the data breach.
Console & Associates P.C. is dedicated to advancing consumers’ privacy interests at every opportunity. The firm investigates all types of data breaches, ransomware attacks and other network intrusions to determine the legal rights of consumers who trusted corporations with their sensitive information. Console & Associates, P.C. can be reached through the firm’s website at https://www.myinjuryattorney.com/consumer-privacy-data-breach-lawyers/.
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