On April 5, 2022, Parker-Hannifin Corporation filed a notice with the Security and Exchange Commission outlining a recent data security incident that the company says exposed the personal information of certain employees.
If you have received a data breach notification, it is essential that you understand what is at risk.
“I talk to data breach victims almost every day, and many don’t fully understand the impact a breach can have,” said attorney Richard P. Console, Jr.. “Once your sensitive personal data falls into the hands of cybercriminals, you are at a much higher risk of identity theft for the rest of your life.If a company allows your personal data to be stolen, hold that company accountable through a class action lawsuit may be the only way to get fair compensation and send a message to other companies to be more careful.
On average, victims of identity theft spend 200 hours and over $1,300 trying to find their identity. Many victims also suffer emotional distress, experience credit damage, discover loans made in their name without their knowledge, and may even end up with criminal records for crimes they did not commit. Taking immediate action is the best way to prevent the worst consequences of a data breach.
What we know so far about the Parker Hannifin data breach
According to an official filing with the company’s SEC, on April 5, 2022, Hannifin Parker learned that an unauthorized party had gained access to the company’s computer systems. The violation date was listed as March 14, 2022. In response. Hannifin Parker has launched an investigation to learn more about the incident, as well as the specific information that was compromised. While the company has yet to determine the extent of the compromised data, it said “the company believes some data was accessed and taken and may include personal information about members of the company’s team” .
If Parker-Hannifin confirms that employee data has been leaked, the company will likely send out data breach notification letters in the future.
Parker-Hannifin is a company that creates various technologies for the aerospace and manufacturing sectors. Parker operates in 50 countries, offering products to customers in 113 countries around the world. The company’s headquarters are in Cleveland, Ohio. Parker-Hannifin employs approximately 55,000 people worldwide and generates approximately $15 billion in annual revenue. The company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “PH”.
Learn more about the causes and risks of data breaches
Often, data breaches result from a hacker gaining unauthorized access to a company’s computer systems in an effort to obtain sensitive consumer or employee information. Although no one can know why a hacker targeted Parker, it is common for hackers and other criminals to identify companies believed to have weak data security systems or vulnerabilities in their networks.
Once a cybercriminal gains access to a computer network, they can then access and delete all data stored on compromised servers. While in most cases a business victim of a data breach can identify which files were accessed, there may be no way for them to tell which files the hacker actually accessed or broke. he deleted data.
Although the fact that your information was compromised in a data breach does not necessarily mean that it will be used for criminal purposes, being the victim of a data breach puts your sensitive data in the hands of someone that you do not know and who may have criminal intentions. . Therefore, you are at increased risk of identity theft and other fraud, and criminal use of your information is a possibility that should not be ignored.
Given this reality, employees who receive a Parker-Hannifin data breach notification should take the situation seriously and remain vigilant by checking for any signs of unauthorized activity. Companies like Parker are responsible for protecting the consumer data in their possession. If it appears that Parker has failed to adequately protect your sensitive information, you may be eligible for financial compensation through a data breach lawsuit.
What remedies do employees have following the Parker data breach?
When employees accepted a job with Parker, they assumed the company would take their privacy concerns seriously. And it goes without saying that employees would think twice about working for a company if they knew the company wouldn’t protect their information. Thus, data breaches such as this raise questions about the adequacy of a company’s data security system.
When a business, government entity, nonprofit, school, or other organization accepts and stores employee data, it also accepts a legal obligation to ensure that this information is kept private. US data breach laws allow employees to bring civil data breach lawsuits against organizations that fail to protect their information.
Of course, given the recentness of the Parker Hannifin data breach, the investigation into the incident is still in its early stages. And, at this time, there is still no evidence to suggest that Parker is legally responsible for the breach. However, that may change as more information about the breach and its causes comes to light.
If you have questions about your ability to bring a data breach class action lawsuit against Parker-Hannifin, contact a data breach attorney as soon as possible.
What should you do if you receive a Parker-Hannifin data breach notification?
If Parker Hannifin sends you a data breach notification letter, you are among the employees whose information was compromised in the recent breach. Although this is not the time to panic, the situation deserves your attention. Below are some important steps you can take to protect yourself against identity theft and other fraudulent activity:
Identify compromised information: The first thing to do after becoming aware of a data breach is to carefully review the data breach letter sent. The letter will tell you what information about you was accessible to the unauthorized party. Be sure to make a copy of the letter and keep it for your records. If you’re having trouble understanding the letter or what steps you can take to protect yourself, a data breach attorney can help.
Limit future access to your accounts: Once you’ve determined what information about you was affected by the breach, the safest game is to assume that the hacker who orchestrated the attack stole your data. Although this is not the case, prevention is better than cure. To prevent future access to your accounts, you must change all passwords and security questions for any online account. This includes online banking accounts, credit card accounts, online shopping accounts, and any other accounts that contain your personal information. You should also consider changing your social media account passwords and setting up multi-factor authentication where available.
Protect your credit and financial accounts: After a data breach, employers often provide affected parties with free credit monitoring services. Signing up for free credit monitoring provides important protections and does not affect any of your rights to take legal action against your employer if they are found to be legally responsible for the breach. You should contact a credit bureau to request a copy of your credit file, even if you notice no signs of fraud or unauthorized activity. Adding a fraud alert to your account will provide you with additional protection.
Consider implementing a credit freeze: A credit freeze prevents anyone from accessing your credit file. Credit freezes are free and remain in effect until you remove them. Once a credit freeze is in place, you can temporarily lift it if you need to apply for any type of credit. While freezing credit on your accounts may seem like overkill, given the risks involved, it’s warranted. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center (“ITRC”), freezing credit on your account is “the most effective way to prevent a new credit/financial account from being opened.” However, only 3% of data breach victims freeze their accounts.
Monitor your credit report and financial accounts regularly: Protecting yourself following a data breach requires continuous effort on your part. You should regularly check your credit report and all financial account statements for any signs of unauthorized activity or fraud. You should also call your banks and credit card companies to report that your information has been compromised in a data breach.
Below is a copy of Parker-Hannifin Corporation’s recent SEC filing:
On March 14, 2022, Parker-Hannifin Corporation (the “Company” or “Parker”) detected that a third party had gained unauthorized access to the Company’s systems. The Company immediately activated incident response protocols, which included shutting down certain systems and initiating an investigation into the incident, which is ongoing. The company has also notified and is working with relevant law enforcement authorities, and has engaged legal counsel and other third-party incident response and cybersecurity professionals. While the Company’s investigation is ongoing, the Company believes certain data has been accessed and taken and may include personal information about Company team members.
Based on its preliminary assessment and currently known information, the incident has not had a significant financial or operational impact and the Company does not believe that the incident will have a significant impact on its business, operations or financial results. The Company’s business systems are fully operational and the Company maintains insurance, subject to certain policy deductibles and limitations typical of its size and industry.