Citigroup was the latest in a serious of large hacking attacks that have stricken the likes of Sony, Epsilon and others. On Thursday, the bank made a statement that 200,000 accounts were breached (about 1% of its 21 million customers on the continent), in early May, and the hackers were able to obtain customers‟ names, account numbers, and email addresses, among other things. Although cyber attacks on the financial industry have been occurring regularly for years, the Citi one is one of the largest direct attacks on a major bank and has shed light on the inefficient practices by banks and major credit card companies to safeguard customers‟ personal information.
In light of this, Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-CA), chair of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade, will be holding a hearing this coming Wednesday to examine a draft version of her data breach legislation. Neither the witness list not the draft bill have been made public yet, but the hearing indicates that Bono Mack is eager to move a bill that will set a federal standard on breach notification and improve private sector data security. She stated that "hopefully, the lessons learned from this spate of high-profile data breaches will be instructive as we ready legislation to provide consumers with better safeguards in the future. The time has come for Congress to take decisive action. We need a uniform national standard for data security and data breach notification. In the meantime, regulators need to do a better job of being a consumer watchdog.”