Posted by Emily Maxie, Marketing Director, SIGNiX, Inc. on 10/31/2014

You’ve probably heard about the Target data breach that compromised millions of customers’ credit card numbers and personal information in 2013. You’ve probably also heard about the recent Home Depot data breach. But you might be surprised to find out that neither of those breaches are the largest in recent history. 

In honor of Halloween, we’ve compiled a list of the 5 Scariest Data Breaches of All Time based on the number of people affected and the cost to the company responsible for the breach.

Scariest Data Breaches of All Time Infographic

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Heartland Payment Systems

  • When: 2008-2009
  • Damage: 130 million debit and credit cards compromised in this breach that cost the company more than $140 million
  • Details: Malware infecting Heartland’s network recorded card data as it arrived from retailers. Because the company processed payments for more than 250,000 businesses across the country, the impact was huge.

Target Stores

  • When: 2013-2014
  • Damage: 110 million records compromised in this breach that cost Target $148 million
  • Details: Retail giant Target confirmed that hackers had infected the company’s payment-card readers, stealing about 40 million credit and debit card numbers. In January 2014, Target announced that the contact information (full names, addresses, email addresses and telephone numbers) of 70 million customers were also compromised in the breach.

Sony Online

  • When: 2011
  • Damage: 102 million records compromised in a breach that cost Sony $171 million
  • Details: In April 2011, attackers targeted the PlayStation Network that links Sony’s home gaming consoles, as well as the Qriocity video and music streaming service and Sony Online Entertainment, which hosts huge multiplayer online computer games.


  • When: 2011
  • Damage: 60 million to 250 million records compromised in a breach that analysts say cost the company $4 billion
  • Details: This marketing firm’s email address database of at least 60 million customers (including seven Fortune 10 companies)  ended up in the hands of cybercriminals. More than a dozen major retailers, banks and hotels were affected. According to the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, the number of compromised records may have been as high as 250 million.

Home Depot

  • When: 2014
  • Damage: 56 million payment cards compromised in a breach that resulted in at least 21 lawsuits
  • Details: “Carders” infected Home Depot’s point-of-sale systems at stores in the U.S. and Canada with malware that stole customer credit and debit cards. The theft is likely the largest theft of payment cards from a direct attack on a retailer. 

Think Your Business is Immune? Think Again!

  • 44% of small businesses reporting having been victim to a cyber attack
  • The average data breach for a small business costs $8,6999
Categories: Business Partners, Technology Consulting & Compliance
Posted by Mr. Richard Grady, VP Research, Cornerstone Credit Union League on 10/31/2014


As I sat, late in the evening, in my dimly lit study, pouring over some family history, I heard it, as if someone took a mighty fist and pounded once on my side door.

I pushed back my chair and stood up straight, heart pounding louder than the thump I just heard. I wasn’t expecting any visitors, not at this hour.

I moved quickly around the house and turned on all the lights, including the outside lamps, and peered into the yard. Nothing! No person. No wind. Nothing.

I turned, stumped, sighed to my cats now staring at me “nothing,” passed by the packing boxes and returned to the study to review what my father sent to me. It was interesting but needed editing.


There it was again! I stood up, thinking, do I get the gun? Did I leave the ammo clips in the desk drawer? I slowly moved to the doorway and peeked around the corner.

There! There it was! Now, standing next to the doorway, three stacked boxes and two cats, one inside the top box, and one outside on the floor, looking at me with their typical cat expression, “WHAT?”

What scares you?

Maybe the fact that four million American Baby Boomers will retired this year. Are you going to retain them as members? Can you offer them wealth management services and investment counseling? Or is it, how are you going to recover when they move their large-balance accounts into a brokerage firm?

Perhaps it is the fact that 55% of companies have never conducted a CEO succession plan, basically letting chance and circumstances drive decision making. Are you one of the minority, someone that actually has a written plan, a plan updated in the past six months, a plan that includes all the key positions?

Or, could it be that, even though there are 4.8 million job openings in the United States you are part of the roughly half of the employers who can't find qualified workers? The skills gap between education, workforce training and employment has been identified as a "critical problem" in the U.S. How are you coping with the chasm? Is hiring consuming significant portions of your time, which is the reason you don’t have a succession plan?

Perchance it was, that last year, employment turnover cost credit unions $68 million in just the three Cornerstone states. Are you retaining or re-training? The Human Capital Institute measured that, for a company with 10,000 employees, the turnover costs for entry-level workers alone average $17.3 million. I can tell you, for a fact, from my days at EDS, one lost person impacted my P&L bottom line by $55,000 and, at our peak, we were hiring 20,000 people a year with 75% of them filling vacancies. Nearly $1 billion in replacement costs is pretty scary!

If shock and awe hasn’t settled in yet, let me expand the haunting with these quick facts:

  • 44% of Generation X workers are reportedly looking for another job within the next 12 months. (Gallup)
  • 61% of high school students would rather be an entrepreneur than an employee when they graduate from college. (
  • One in three young professionals under age 30 prioritize social media freedom over salary when choosing to accept a job offer. (Cisco Connected World Report)
  • 91% of Gen Y employees don't expect to stay more than three years at any given job. (Future Workplace Survey)
  • Starting next year, Baby Boomers will no longer be the majority of the workforce. The majority of the workforce will be Generation Y, ages 20-33. (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • High unemployment and the lack of skilled labor worldwide threatens a projected loss of $10 trillion between now and 2030. (Boston Consulting Group)

Researchers and economists, like myself, wrestle with these “boogie men” every day and alert you, our members, to their location and existence. And fortunately, the League and Resources are filled with talented Ghost Busters who can remove these aberrations from your midst.

The conclusion to all of this frightening matter reminds me of a similar time 82 years ago, when a gentleman took on the most frightening job of the time and said:

“This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly. Nor need we shrink from honestly facing conditions in our country today. This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory. I am convinced that you will again give that support to leadership in these critical days.” – Franklyn D. Roosevelt, 1932 Inaugural Speech


Since it is Halloween, I’ll add three other horsemen.

“There is a little valley among high hills which is one of the quietest places in the whole world. A small brook murmurs through it and, with the occasional whistle of a quail or tapping of a woodpecker, is almost the only sound that ever breaks the uniform tranquility. From the listless repose of the place, this sequestered glen has long been known by the name of Sleepy Hollow. … "If I can but reach that bridge," thought Ichabod, "I am safe." Just then he heard the black steed panting and blowing close behind him; he even fancied that he felt his hot breath. Another convulsive kick in the ribs, and old Gunpowder sprang upon the bridge; he thundered over the resounding planks; he gained the opposite side; and now Ichabod cast a look behind to see if his pursuer should vanish, according to rule, in a flash of fire and brimstone. Just then he saw the goblin rising in his stirrups, in the very act of hurling his head at him. Ichabod endeavored to dodge the horrible missile, but too late.” – Washington Irving, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”

“We know now that in the early years of the twentieth century this world was being watched closely by intelligences greater than man's and yet as mortal as his own. We know now that as human beings busied themselves about their various concerns they were scrutinized and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scrutinize the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water. With infinite complacence people went to and fro over the earth about their little affairs, serene in the assurance of their dominion over this small spinning fragment of solar driftwood which by chance or design man has inherited out of the dark mystery of Time and Space. Yet across an immense ethereal gulf, minds that to our minds as ours are to the beasts in the jungle, intellects vast, cool and unsympathetic, regarded this earth with envious eyes and slowly and surely drew their plans against us.” – H. G. Wells, “The War of the Worlds”

“Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore, While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door. – Edgar Allan Poe, “The Raven”

Categories: Compliance, Education & Training, Employment & Staffing, Financial & Auditing, Human Resources, Marketing & Printing, Research, Strategic Planning & Consulting, Succession Planning, Technology Consulting & Compliance
Posted by Chris Thomas, Regional Manager, Credit Union Resources, Inc on 10/29/2014

There really are times where too much of a good thing can be bad and one of those could be during the hiring process.  Just remember the times where you have met with several candidates and they are all very good but one of them just hasn’t been able to stand out above the others.  You can see all of them in the potential role and doing a good job.  How do you narrow it down and make a decision? 

You’ve handled the prescreening and hopefully know that all the candidates you are interviewing are capable of handling the responsibilities of the position.  But there are several things that might be able to help in that decision and they may be specific to that position, or that department or the credit union overall.    

  • Skill-set:  You can look at the backgrounds a little closer and see if there are areas where you candidate might have more experience.  Or perhaps one of the candidates brings some experience that the department is lacking and would strengthen the group.  There may be a candidate with some supervisory experience that could serve as a leader or mentor to a department that needs that at that time. 

  • Education:  How important is the education to the position?  Does one of the candidates have advanced degrees that would be beneficial?  Have they earned certain certifications that enhance their knowledge base?  Could there actually be a candidate that has too much education and may not be a fit for the position on a long-term basis? 

  • References:  What are their references saying about them?  Are they saying anything? 

  • Personality Fit:  This is usually the area where someone will break away from others.  If you have a candidate that you believe will mesh well with the current manager or staff, that person will start to stand out from the others.  You certainly want a department that is able to work in harmony with each other. 

It is very important to get the right person into the right role.  As you go down this list, hopefully the right candidate comes a little more into focus and the decision becomes clear.

If you are a candidate looking for a career in the credit union industry or a credit union looking for staffing help, please contact Credit Union Employment Resources ( and we can certainly help you out.  You can contact me directly at


Categories: Employment & Staffing, Human Resources
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