Desjardins data breach costs £30M more than anticipated

Desjardins chief executive Guy Cormier has announced that the data breach, that the Canadian credit union suffered in 2019, cost it £84.54 million to address instead of £54.80 it had estimated.

In June last year, Desjardins announced that it suffered a major breach that resulted in the loss of personal information of as many as 2.7 million personal members and 173,000 business members. The Canadian financial cooperative group said that the breach occurred when their employee shared the massive data tranche with third parties resulting in the loss of personal information of 2.7 million personal members and 173,000 business members.

The breach compromised first and last names, dates of birth, social insurance numbers, physical addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, and other details of home users and business names, business addresses, phone numbers, business owner's names and AccèsD Affaires account usernames of business customers.

Following the massive data exposure, Desjardins offered a paid-for five-year credit monitoring plan to customers that included daily access to credit reports, instant alerts of key changes, and identity theft insurance. To avoid such incidents in future, from July last year, Desjardins also offered free of charge identity protection for all members who bank with the co-operative in Quebec and Ontario.

Desjardins paid almost £30 million more to sponsor credit monitoring services

In November, Desjardins announced in a new press release that it was informed by the Sûreté du Québec (Quebec's police force) that the massive data breach impacted up to 4.2 million customers who used its services in Quebec and Ontario. The company also said that the compromised data wasn’t misused.

The Quebec-based financial institution estimated that the data breach would cost the company $70m (£54.80). However, as reported by the Canadian Press, the breach has cost the credit union approximately $108m (£84.54), almost £30 million more than the company estimated. However, CEO Guy Cormier did not seem to be much worried about the amount.

According to CBC, Cormier said that "the impact is less than one percent of its $18 billion in revenues in 2019" and "while it may seem like a large amount, Desjardins has ample capacity to absorb the expense." These costs were mostly incurred to provide free credit monitoring services to affected citizens.

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