Attorney General Chris Carr, along with the attorneys general of 45 other states and the District of Columbia, have agreed to a $17.5 million-dollar settlement with Georgia-based retailer, The Home Depot. The settlement resolves a multistate investigation of a 2014 data breach involving the payment card information of approximately 40 million Home Depot consumers nationwide. The State of Georgia will collect $356,366.24 through this settlement.
“Our office will continue to do all we can to protect consumers and their personally identifiable information,” said Attorney General Chris Carr. “It is important to remember that in a world where cybersecurity threats are evolving, so too must our efforts to combat them. That means we must all remain vigilant. We believe The Home Depot has been proactive in correcting this situation by taking the necessary measures to address the issue at hand, and our office will continue our work with private, public, state, local and federal partners to make sure that we eliminate the truly bad actors from the playing field.”
The breach occurred when hackers gained access to The Home Depot’s network and deployed malware on The Home Depot’s self-checkout point-of-sale system. The malware allowed the hackers to obtain the payment card information of customers who used self-checkout lanes at The Home Depot stores throughout the U.S. between April 10, 2014 and Sept 13, 2014.
In addition to the $17.5 million total payment to the states, The Home Depot has agreed to implement and maintain a series of data security practices designed to strengthen its information security program and safeguard the personal information of consumers. Specific information security provisions agreed to in the settlement include:
- Employing a duly qualified Chief Information Security Officer reporting to both the Senior or C-level executives and Board of Directors regarding Home Depot’s security posture and security risks;
- Providing resources necessary to fully implement the company’s information security program;
- Providing appropriate security awareness and privacy training to all personnel who have access to the company’s network or responsibility for U.S. consumers’’ personal information;
- Employing specific security safeguards with respect to logging and monitoring, access controls, password management, two factor authentication, file integrity monitoring, firewalls, encryption, risk assessments, penetration testing, intrusion detection, and vendor account management; and
- Consistent with previous state data breach settlements, the company will undergo a post settlement information security assessment which in part will evaluate its implementation of the agreed upon information security program.
Other states participating in this settlement include: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.