Company fires its COO and Vice President after massive data breach

The data breach that hit Desjardins last June continues to have consequences. According to digital forensics specialists, the Canadian credit union fired its chief operating officer (COO) and vice president of technology for their relationship with the incident that led to the exposure of data from more than 4 million members.

In addition to affecting millions of individuals, the data breach compromised the information of more than 170,000 companies; Desjardins mentioned at the time that the incident was the fault of a malicious employee who shared this information with third parties.

Among the personal details presented are:

  • Full names
  • Birth dates
  • Social security numbers
  • Addresses
  • Email addresses
  • Phone numbers
  • Business details

According to digital forensics experts, the latest update on the data breach, revealed by the Quebec authorities, reports that the incident would have affected up to 4.2 million of the company’s customers in the Quebec and Ontario areas. On the other hand, Guy Cormier, president and CEO of the cooperative recalled that all individuals and potentially affected companies are eligible to receive free credit monitoring services for up to five years. This includes daily access to credit reports, instant alerts on any activity, and identity theft insurance. In addition, the company modified some mechanisms to prevent threat actors from using the compromised information.

The announcement about the dismissal of the two Desjardins executives occurred a few days ago. In addition to reporting on this decision, it was reported that one of the responsibilities of the company’s next managers will be the implementation of an industry standard security reporting process for the protection of personal and financial information of the financial cooperative’s clients.

Réal Bellemare, former executive vice president of finance at Desjardins, will take over as executive vice president and chief operating officer, replacing Denis Berthiaume. In addition, Bellemare will also take over as Vice President of Technology, at least for a few days until the company finds the next manager.

International Institute of Cyber Security (IICS) digital forensics specialists recommend that cooperative members still have doubts about the security status of their information by contacting Desjardins Canada directly, as they the company will be informing them of any new advances or updates.