HR and Payroll Company Falls Victim to Data Breach That Could Affect Thousands of Startups

  • By Steven
  • Dec 09, 2022

HR and Payroll Company Falls Victim to Data Breach

Not all companies have the budget to hire an entire HR or financial department, let alone both. Most people have gotten ads for HR services; those on free Spotify have probably heard the Bambee ad about a hundred times. Sequoia is an incredibly popular HR and payroll company partnered with thousands of companies. As a result, it has access to an extensive list of personally identifying information, which puts it on a list of sorts for hackers.

How Did the Attack Occur?

That’s just it; no one knows. After Sequoia noted the breach, Sequoia contacted law enforcement and a third-party investigative team to look into the breach. The investigation found no evidence of a data scam, firewall breach, malware, data extortion, or anything else that may have led to the hack. Sequoia also found no evidence of any misuse or distribution of the information involved. Unfortunately, just because it hasn’t happened yet doesn’t mean it won’t happen at all.

What Information Was Viewed or Stolen?

Like most hacks, the stolen data is dependent on the victim. Certain people will not have granted the companies certain information in the first place, while others jump headlong into every endeavor. There’s nothing wrong with being more reserved or being more trusting, but going with the trusting side of the spectrum will often lead to being scammed. The accessed details range from names and addresses to demographic information to wage and Covid-19 vaccination information. Social security numbers, employee and member benefits, emails, marital status, work email addresses, employment status, and birthdays may have also been included in the breach.

How Did Sequoia Admit to the Breach?

The company contacted law enforcement as soon as the breach was discovered. Soon after the investigation, notices were sent to impacted individuals. Sequoia sent the statements to what were supposedly thousands of individuals, one of whom was Jonathan Leitschuh, a security researcher. “I honestly was not surprised when I got the notification in the mail, not because of Sequoia specifically, I’ve just been in the security space long enough to know that it’s just a matter of time,” he said.

What Will Become of the Stolen Information?

When a hacker decides to ‘do business,’ they do it for an express purpose; to make money. If the hacker has access to this kind of information, it would be illogical for them not to sell it, as it can make them thousands, if not millions, of dollars. They may also use it themselves. Either way, the victims have their information thrust into a dangerous game.

What Should Affected Parties Do in the Aftermath of the Breach?

In the aftermath of the breach, it would likely help people to know that Sequoia offers three years of credit monitoring from Experian to any breach victims. The company also sent notifications to every corporate and individual victim. This way, no one will be caught off guard and will be able to protect themselves. Victims can also take some steps outside Sequoia’s offered credit monitoring. There are countless software titles for this express purpose, and monitoring your texts and emails on your own will help to protect you from scams and phishing attacks.

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