Meet Global Payments, Inc. You have probably never heard of them, but chances are at some point when you’ve swiped your major credit card, like Visa, MasterCard, or Discover, Global Payments, Inc. has been involved in the routing and transferring of your information. They kind of operate behind-the-scenes in one of those roles where the major credit cards pay them big bucks to take a lot of the hassle of credit card processing off of their hands. Today, Global Payments, Inc. took a much more public role when they were forced to admit that a security breach allowed their systems to be the victim of unauthorized access.
Because the breach is just being discovered and publicly announced at the publishing of this article, it is not known at this time how many consumers may be affected by this security malfunction. The Secret Service is investigating the incident, and MasterCard has already announced that it has retained the services of a data security firm to uncover the true details of the situation. Krebs on Security, one firm that is involved with monitoring stuff like this, has already went on record as saying that as many as 10 million cardholders could have their information in jeopardy.
The over-30 crowd probably remembers a time when what credit cards were accepted was a decision point in where to dine, lodge, or shop. Companies like Global Payments, Inc. have provided the infrastructure that allows customers the convenience of using their cards almost anywhere. However, with that comes the danger of this sort of security letdown. It doesn’t matter which credit card company you have an agreement with, they all still use the same system, ultimately, so your information is always at risk.