Blue Light Calamity: Kmart Hit in New Data Breach

June 6, 2017         By: Steven Anderson

Amid declining revenues—and fortunes—another blow to the beleaguered chain arrives with a Kmart data breach.

If ever there was a retail tragedy for the last 10 to 20 years, it would have to be Kmart. Formerly the king of discount shopping, a combination of general economic malaise and growing online shopping has beaten Kmart within an inch of its corporate life. If the circumstances weren’t bad enough, word of a recent data breach only hits all the harder.

For those puzzled, especially following recent events, there are indeed some Kmart locations still open. Worse, said locations proved a trap for malware right at the point of sale (POS) level, and banks and credit unions alike are starting to get word about stolen account numbers, perhaps the worst level of breach there could be.

However, some reports suggest that the problem may not be that bad. Reports note that no personal information was stolen, and the breach hasn’t affected all of Kmart’s locations evenly.

Word from Sears Holdings, Kmart’s parent company, noted “Given the criminal nature of this attack, Kmart is working closely with federal law enforcement authorities, our banking partners, and IT security firms in this ongoing investigation.

We are actively enhancing our defenses in light of this new form of malware. Data security is of critical importance to our company, and we continuously review and improve the safeguards that protect our data in response to changing technology and new threats.”

Naturally, for a company that’s pretty much on its last legs as it is, word about a data breach of any kind might well prove to be the last nail in the metaphorical coffin. After all, if what shoppers Kmart has left to its credit fail to trust the company’s operations, they may well fail to shop there too.

That’s going to cripple its cash flow, and a company without sound cash flow is much more likely to fail outright. Throw in the overall problems that parent company Sears has been having lately and that only makes the picture worse.

Data breaches seldom do any company any good, and for Kmart, a data breach right now is effectively insult added to injury. This could be the last for Kmart, unless it’s got a really good recovery plan we haven’t seen yet up its sleeve.