Email marketing provider, Epsilon, has announced that “an incident was detected where a subset of Epsilon clients’ customer data were exposed by an unauthorized entry into Epsilon’s email system” on March 30.
In other words, a large number of email lists – milions of email addresses – have been compromised and now may receive spam email messages as a result.
Epsilon – which sends over 40 billions annually and counts over 2500 clients, mostly major brands including Best Buy, 1000Flowers, TiVo and Citi. – claims that information involved in this big major breach are limited to first name and/or email address only. Nevertheless, these personal details can be used to create potential marketing attacks involving requests for sensitive information.
A bid debate has started on outsourcing email management to third-party companies. Scott Raymond, in a Zdnet article about the Epsilon hack, invites “companies with large IT departments to rethink outsourcing some of their critical customer data and bring it back in house”.
That’s true. All companies that are considering e-mail outsourcing should carefully do a cost-benefit analysis to determine the real needs and the expected results, paying attention to some crucial factors like the volume of emails and the fuctionalities required.
Online security has become a big concern nowadays. Here at SendBlaster we think that especially small and midsize companies can still get a lot of benefits managing all their email activities in-house, keeping total control over how customer data is being protected.
Epsilon assures its customers that a “full investigation” is going on while “a rigorous assessment determined that no other personal identifiable information associated with those names was at risk.”