On August 1, 2022, Gage Brothers Concrete Products, Inc. confirmed that the company experienced a data breach after an unauthorized party gained access to sensitive consumer data contained on Gage Bros.’s network. While the company has not yet released the types of information leaked as a result of the breach, based on the state reporting requirements, it would appear one or more of the following were involved: Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers, bank or credit card account numbers, or medical records. Recently, Gage Bros. sent out data breach letters to all affected parties, informing them of the incident and what they can do to protect themselves from identity theft and other frauds.
If you received a data breach notification, it is essential you understand what is at risk and what you can do about it. To learn more about how to protect yourself from becoming a victim of fraud or identity theft and what your legal options are in the wake of the Gage Brothers data breach, please see our recent piece on the topic here.
What We Know About the Gage Brothers Data Breach
According to an official notice filed by the company, on June 13, 2022, Gage Brothers detected suspicious activity within its computer network. In response, the company secured its network and then reached out to third-party specialists to assist with an investigation. The company’s investigation revealed that certain files on the Gage Brothers’ system were accessible to an unauthorized party between June 8, 2022 and July 9, 2022.
Upon discovering that sensitive consumer data was accessible to an unauthorized party, Gage Brothers reviewed all affected files to determine what information was compromised and which consumers were impacted. Gage Brothers has not yet posted notice of the breach on its website, and the company’s official filings redact the specific data types that were leaked. However, because companies only need to report a data breach if it impacts Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers, bank or credit card account numbers, or medical records, it is likely one or more of these data types were among the compromised data types.
On August 1, 2022, Gage Brothers sent out data breach letters to all individuals whose information was compromised as a result of the recent data security incident.
More Information About Gage Brothers Concrete Products, Inc.
Founded in 1915, Gage Brothers Concrete Products, Inc. is a building materials company based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The company specializes in precast concrete products, such as wall panels, veneer panels, core slabs, double tees, and beams. Gage Brothers also assists clients with design planning services. Gage Brothers employs more than 308 people and generates approximately $62 million in annual revenue.
What To Do After Your Information Was Compromised in a Data Breach
For many who have never experienced identity theft or other fraud, it’s easy to assume that the harms of a data breach are limited to the headache of calling your bank and having them close your existing accounts. And while it’s true that data breaches don’t always lead to fraud, they significantly increase the likelihood of a criminal stealing your identity. According to some estimates, it costs the average data breach victim more than $1,300 to resolve a case of identity theft and requires them to spend up to 200 hours doing so. This is hardly a minor inconvenience.
Cybercriminals often act quickly after stealing consumer information to commit these crimes. If a company is quick to report a breach, however, it may provide victims an opportunity to take a few steps to reduce the risk of fraud following a data breach. Below are the basic steps to take after a data breach. Note, however, that you may need to take additional action if the breach involves your Social Security number or protected health information.
Read the data breach letter to determine what information was leaked;
Report the breach to all financial institutions;
Close any bank accounts or credit cards if the account number was leaked;
Enroll in for free credit monitoring provided by the company that leaked your information;
Contact one of the three main credit bureaus to place a fraud alert or a credit freeze on your credit account; and
Keep a close eye on your bank and credit card accounts for any signs of fraudulent activity.
By taking these steps, victims of a data breach can significantly reduce the chance of falling victim to identity theft or other frauds.
Of course, the burden to prevent identity theft should fall on victims’ shoulders. And sometimes, despite prompt action, victims of a data breach still experience identity theft. Often, this occurs when there is a significant reporting delay; but sometimes, hackers simply act too quickly. In these situations, it is important for victims of a data breach to understand their rights. The United States data breach laws allow victims to bring a data breach class action lawsuit against a company that negligently leaked their information. Those with questions about what to do after a data breach or what rights victims have against a company should reach out to a data breach lawyer.