Custom «Heartland Data Breach» Essay Paper Sample

Heartland Data Breach

Before any financial institution begins to serve the public, the management always ensures that there is adequate internal and external security. Nevertheless there are some situations where there is the breach of the security at the institution or its outlets and this puts at risk both the client’s money and the reputation of the institution. According to McGlasson, one of the companies to have system breach in the recent past is the Heartland Payment Systems (McGlasson, 2009). For a company that handles close to 100 million transactions per month and the breach at one of its “outlets” exposed the company’s clients to fraudsters. This essay paper will seek to answer several questions in regard to the Heartland Payment Systems data breach.

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Discuss how he accomplished the three elements of the opportunity triangle (commit, conceal, convert) in committing data fraud. What specific concealment techniques did he use?

Higgins (2009) states that, this security breach was caused by “a malware that infected the firm's systems”. The hackers used this sniffer software to read and collect some very vital unencrypted data concerning the organizations finances are it moved in the system. In addition to that Higgins has states that due to the complexity of the organization’s system it was not easy to immediately determine the exact damage that the breach had had on the organization. For the fraudsters, it can be said that they used hawking method when committing the crime. Despite the fact that this issue was all over the media, the management initially brushed aside the issue but later they admitted there was a system breach (Vijayan, 2010).

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What pressures motivated him to commit data fraud? How did he rationalize his actions?

The weak security systems at the firm can be said to be one of the factors that motivated the fraudsters to commit the crime. It can be observed that the security codes that the organization used were outdated and because of the rapid change in technology, it was easy for the hawkers to “implant” the sniffer software in the company’s network.

What things could tell you his lifestyle from where he worked or things he had in his office or home. What were the red flags that could have tipped off the company to the possibility of fraud?

From the professional way in which the crime was committed, it can be said that the thief (fraudster) is someone who is technology savvy and has access to the latest technology. In addition to that it is evident that for a person to be able to commit a crime of such magnitude then his office and home are equipped with the latest machines and computers. The fraudster also had keen interest in the banking sector and money transfer mechanism that various organizations apply.

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How does the data thief fit the profile of the average fraud perpetrator? How does he differ? How did these characteristics make him difficult to detect?

Even thou the crimes were detected and prevented before more damage could be caused the effects of this breach on the company’s performance were massive. One of the negative effects of this breach was on the company’s shares. Some of the characteristics of fraudsters is that they are intelligent, egoistic, inquisitive, hard working, under stress but at the same time trusted members of the organization and well educated. For the case of the criminal behind the Heartland Data breach, it can be said that he was someone who worked in the banking sector and he was bored with his daily routine. It is because of this that he took the risk to swindle the organization with the weakest security system. He was able to conceal his identify and it was hard to track him down.

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Identify several reasons why companies hesitate in prosecuting white-collar criminals. What are the problems with these reasons? What could law enforcement officials do to encourage more rigorous prosecution of white-collar criminals? Identify the primary action that each company could have taken to prevent the embezzlement. What other controls could help in preventing future fraud?

White collar criminals are considered smart, intelligent and beneficial to the organization therefore most companies hesitate in prosecuting them because they believe if they are sent to jail then the organization will lose a dependable member of the organization.To prevent this error from occurring again, the company plans to roll out a new program that will enable its cards to be encrypted once they are swiped (King 2009b). as the saying goes “prevention is better that curing”, to prevent employees from committing related crimes top managers should treat their employees with the dignity they deserve and give them a motivating working environment.

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