Ameriprise Financial, Inc. Confirms Company’s Fourth Data Breach of 2022 | Console and Associates, PC

On September 13, 2022, Ameriprise Financial, Inc. filed a formal data breach notice with the Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation after the company confirmed that sensitive information in its possession was being accessed unauthorized. According to Ameriprise, the breach resulted in the compromise of names, social security numbers and financial account numbers belonging to some customers. Recently, Ameriprise sent data breach letters to all affected parties, informing them of the incident and what they can do to protect themselves against identity theft and other fraud.

Given the nature of the sensitive information disclosed as a result of the Ameriprise data breach, anyone who receives a data breach letter from Ameriprise Financial is at increased risk of identity theft and other fraud.

Learn more about the Ameriprise Financial Data Breach

News of the Ameriprise data breach continues to grow, and the company has yet to publicly disclose what led to the breach. According to an official filing with the Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation, Ameriprise’s breach involved the names, social security numbers and account information of certain customers. This is the fourth data breach reported by Ameriprise to the Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation in 2022.

While the company has yet to confirm the total number of people affected by the recent data security incident, it did confirm that there were at least 85 victims in Massachusetts alone. This number can increase significantly as the company reports the violation to other state regulatory agencies.

On September 13, 2022, Ameriprise Financial sent data breach letters to everyone whose information was compromised as a result of the recent data security incident.

Additional information about Ameriprise Financial, Inc.

Founded in 1894, Ameriprise Financial, Inc. is a financial services company based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The company offers its clients a wide range of investment, banking and insurance products aimed at helping clients achieve their investment, retirement, tax planning and estate planning goals. Recently, the company reported having $1.2 million in assets under management and administration. Ameriprise is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “AMP”. Ameriprise Financial employs more than 12,000 people and generates approximately $13 billion in annual revenue.

How do data breaches happen?

Data breaches are increasingly common. Just over ten years ago, in 2021, there were an estimated 419 reported data breaches. However, last year 1,862 violations were reported, more than four times the number of the previous decade. However, despite the fact that more than 189 million people were affected by a data breach in 2021, many consumers and businesses underestimate the damage these incidents can cause.

Why are data breaches on the rise? The answer, in simple terms, is that they generate millions of dollars in illegal revenue for hackers. The reason hackers and cybercriminals carry out data breaches is to obtain sensitive consumer information that they can use to either defraud the victims or sell the stolen information to a third party.

Hackers can orchestrate a data breach in different ways. Most data breaches involve malware or ransomware attacks. Malware is short for malicious software, which is a program intended to disrupt a company’s computer system. Most malicious programs are designed to transmit information on a company’s network to hackers. For example, hackers can orchestrate a data-scavenging attack by installing malicious code on an e-commerce site to skim consumers’ credit card information when they make a purchase.

Hackers also steal consumer information via ransomware attack. Ransomware attacks use a specific type of malware that encrypts some or all company files, preventing them from accessing their network. When company employees attempt to log back into their computers, they receive a message from the hackers demanding that they pay a ransom. If the company does not pay the ransom, hackers can refuse to grant access to their company’s network. More recently, hackers have also started threatening to release stolen information on the dark web if a ransom is not paid.

While these two types of cyberattacks differ, the end result is always the same: hackers end up in possession of sensitive consumer information that has been entrusted to a company. Although hackers obtain all types of data, they generally target the most profitable types of data, including:

  • bank account numbers,

  • Credit and debit card numbers,

  • Protected Health Information, and

  • Social security numbers.

Given the importance of this information and the ease with which hackers or other criminals steal a victim’s identity, it is essential that companies take their data security responsibilities seriously. Likewise, it is imperative that data breach victims understand their rights as well as what they can do to protect themselves in the event of a data breach.

Although there is nothing you can do to prevent a breach in the first place, there are steps you can take after learning of a breach to protect yourself. As we discussed earlier postsyou can also seek compensation from the company for disclosing your information.

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