Data Breach: Bank Dumped Customer Records

M&T Branch in MD Mistakenly Tosses Data in Dumpster A local branch of M & T Bank in Rodgers Forge, MD was found to have tossed 52 customer records into a dumpster last week. The bank says the records were dumped inadvertently.

The exposure was revealed after a local news crew from an ABC affiliate went "dumpster diving" in the bank branch's dumpster and found the records.

The documents being placed in the dumpster without being shredded was a "clear violation of our policies," says Philip Hosmer, M & T's vice president of corporate communications. The branch, which was a Bradford Bank branch before the August merger with M & T, had strict controls in place to regulate the way that it inventoried, archived and protected customer information. "But it's clear that some material was mishandled," Hosmer says.

"We've reviewed the materials, and the vast majority of it is old and invalid," Hosmer says. "There's no risk whatsoever for most of this information." M&T has contacted federal and state regulators about the breach and has issued new account numbers and free credit monitoring to the customers involved in the 52 records that were dumped. "We are conducting an extensive internal investigation, and at this point, it appears to be an isolated circumstance involving a single human error," Hosmer concludes.

This data breach brings to 51 the total number of reported data breaches affecting financial institutions in 2009.

About the Author

Linda McGlasson

Linda McGlasson

Managing Editor

Linda McGlasson is a seasoned writer and editor with 20 years of experience in writing for corporations, business publications and newspapers. She has worked in the Financial Services industry for more than 12 years. Most recently Linda headed information security awareness and training and the Computer Incident Response Team for Securities Industry Automation Corporation (SIAC), a subsidiary of the NYSE Group (NYX). As part of her role she developed infosec policy, developed new awareness testing and led the company's incident response team. In the last two years she's been involved with the Financial Services Information Sharing Analysis Center (FS-ISAC), editing its quarterly member newsletter and identifying speakers for member meetings.

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