Data Breach Alert: Fortress Biotech, Inc. | Console and Associates, P.C. | #itsecurity | #infosec

Recently, Fortress Biotech, Inc. confirmed that a phishing attack targeting one of the company’s employees resulted in the sensitive information of certain consumers being compromised. If you received a data breach notification, it is essential you understand what is at risk. The data breach lawyers at Console & Associates, P.C. are actively investigating the Fortress Biotech data breach on behalf of people whose information was exposed. As a part of this investigation, we are providing free consultations to anyone affected by the breach who is interested in learning more about the risks of identity theft, what they can do to protect themselves, and what their legal options may be to obtain compensation from Fortress Biotech. Last year, 1,862 data breaches affected more than 189 million people. On average, victims of identity theft spend 200 hours and over $1,300 recovering their identity. Many victims also suffer emotional distress, credit damage, and may even end up with a criminal record. Taking immediate action is the best way to prevent the worst consequences of a data breach.

What We Know So Far About the Fortress Biotech Data Breach

According to an official filing by the company, on August 25, 2021, Fortress Biotech learned that an unauthorized person gained access to an employee’s email account following a phishing attack. Within about an hour of the first attempted login, the company changed the employee’s password and secured its network. However, the company could not rule out the possibility that the unauthorized party viewed or obtained consumer data available through the employee’s email account. While the compromised information varies by consumer, it may include your first and last name, date of birth, Social Security number, driver’s license number, and financial account information.

Around March 18, 2022, Fortress Biotech began sending out data breach notification letters to all individuals whose information was compromised as a result of the recent data security incident.

Fortress Biotech, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company based in New York, New York. The company focuses on developing and commercializing marketed and development-stage pharmaceutical products and product candidates. Currently, Fortress Biotech, along with its subsidiaries and partners, has seven marketed prescription drugs and 30 products in the development stage. Fortress Biotech currently employs about 93 people and generates an annual revenue of approximately $63 million.

More About the Causes and Risks of Data Breaches

Often, data breaches are the result of a hacker gaining unauthorized access to a company’s computer systems with the intention of obtaining sensitive consumer information. While no one can know the reason why a hacker targeted Fortress Biotech, it is common for hackers and other criminals to identify those companies believed to have weak data security systems or vulnerabilities in their networks.

Once a cybercriminal gains access to a computer network, they can then access and remove any data stored on the compromised servers. While in most cases a company experiencing a data breach can identify which files were accessible, there may be no way for the company to tell which files the hacker actually accessed or whether they removed any data.

While the fact that your information was compromised in a data breach does not necessarily mean it will be used for criminal purposes, being the victim of a data breach puts your sensitive data in the hands of an unauthorized person. As a result, you are at an increased risk of identity theft and other frauds, and criminal use of your information is a possibility that should not be ignored.

Given this reality, individuals who receive a Fortress Biotech data breach notification should take the situation seriously and remain vigilant in checking for any signs of unauthorized activity. Businesses like Fortress Biotech are responsible for protecting the consumer data in their possession. If evidence emerges that Fortress Biotech failed to adequately protect your sensitive information, you may be eligible for financial compensation through a data breach lawsuit.

What Are Consumers’ Remedies in the Wake of the Fortress Biotech Data Breach?

When customers decided to do business with Fortress Biotech, they assumed that the company would take their privacy concerns seriously. And it goes without saying that consumers would think twice before giving a company access to their information if they knew it wasn’t going to be secure. Thus, data breaches such as this one raise questions about the adequacy of a company’s data security system.

When a business, government entity, non-profit organization, school, or any other organization accepts and stores consumer data, it also accepts a legal obligation to ensure this information remains private. The United States data breach laws allow consumers to pursue civil data breach claims against organizations that fail to protect their information.

Of course, given the recency of the Fortress Biotech data breach, the investigation into the incident is still in its early stages. And, as of right now, there is not yet any evidence suggesting Fortress Biotech is legally responsible for the breach. However, that could change as additional information about the breach and its causes is revealed.

If you have questions about your ability to bring a data breach class action lawsuit against Fortress Biotech, reach out to a data breach attorney as soon as possible.

What Should You Do if You Receive a Fortress Biotech Data Breach Notification?

If Fortress Biotech sends you a data breach notification letter, you are among those whose information was compromised in the recent breach. While this isn’t a time to panic, the situation warrants your attention. Below are a few important steps you can take to protect yourself from identity theft and other fraudulent activity:

  1. Identify What Information Was Compromised: The first thing to do after learning of a data breach is to carefully review the data breach letter sent. The letter will tell you what information of yours was accessible to the unauthorized party. Be sure to make a copy of the letter and keep it for your records. If you have trouble understanding the letter or what steps you can take to protect yourself, a data breach lawyer can help.

  2. Limit Future Access to Your Accounts: Once you determine what information of yours was affected by the breach, the safest play is to assume that the hacker orchestrating the attack stole your data. While this may not be the case, it’s better to be safe than sorry. To prevent future access to your accounts, you should change all passwords and security questions for any online account. This includes online banking accounts, credit card accounts, online shopping accounts, and any other account containing your personal information. You should also consider changing your social media account passwords and setting up multi-factor authentication where it is available.

  3. Protect Your Credit and Your Financial Accounts: After a data breach, companies often provide affected parties with free credit monitoring services. Signing up for the free credit monitoring offers some significant protections and doesn’t impact any of your rights to pursue a data breach lawsuit against the company if it turns out they were legally responsible for the breach. You should contact a credit bureau to request a copy of your credit report—even if you do not notice any signs of fraud or unauthorized activity. Adding a fraud alert to your account will provide you with additional protection.

  4. Consider Implementing a Credit Freeze: A credit freeze prevents anyone from accessing your credit report. Credit freezes are free and stay in effect until you remove them. Once a credit freeze is in place, you can temporarily lift the freeze if you need to apply for any type of credit. While placing a credit freeze on your accounts may seem like overkill, given the risks involved, it’s justified. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center (“ITRC”), placing a credit freeze on your account is the “single most effective way to prevent a new credit/financial account from being opened.” However, just 3% of data breach victims place a freeze on their accounts.

  5. Regularly Monitor Your Credit Report and Financial Accounts: Protecting yourself in the wake of a data breach requires an ongoing effort on your part. You should regularly check your credit report and all financial account statements, looking for any signs of unauthorized activity or fraud. You should also call your banks and credit card companies to report the fact that your information was compromised in a data breach.

Below is a copy of the initial data breach letter issued by Fortress Biotech, Inc.:

Dear [Consumer],

We are writing to share with you some important information regarding a recent incident that may have involved your personal information.

What Happened?

On August 25, 2021, we became aware that an unauthorized actor had access to an employee’s email account as a result of a phishing attack. Within approximately one hour after the first unauthorized login to the account, we changed the account password to block further unauthorized access; no further suspicious activity has occurred on the account after the password change.

While we did not see any actual theft of information from that account during the hour-long window of compromise, we cannot rule out the possibility that information in the individual’s account was at risk during the attack. We are contacting you out of an abundance of caution because your information was found in the employee’s mailbox.

What Information Was Involved?

The potentially impacted information that was stored in the compromised email account may have included your: first and last name, date of birth, Social Security Number, driver’s license number, and/or financial account information.

What We Are Doing.

Upon receiving information of the compromise, we changed the compromised account’s password, and enhanced our security protocols. We also investigated the activity in the account.

While we have no evidence your personal information has actually been stolen, we have arranged to provide you with 24 months of complimentary credit monitoring with the provider below.

What You Can Do.

It is always advisable that individuals regularly review their financial accounts and report any suspicious or unrecognized activity immediately. The enclosed “Identity Theft Information” provides further information about steps that individuals can take. Federal consumer protection agencies recommend that you remain vigilant for the next 12 to 24 months and that you report any suspected incidents of fraud to the relevant financial institution.

We encourage you to take advantage of the range of identity protection services provided by Experian’s® IdentityWorksSM at no cost to you. The opportunity to subscribe to these services is not intended to suggest that you are at substantial risk of harm.

Other Important Information.

In order to assist you with this vigilance, arrangements have been made to provide you with complimentary use of Experian’s® IdentityWorksSM for 24 months should you wish to participate. Please read the attached further information about Experian’s® IdentityWorksSM and the enrollment process.

We regret this incident and any inconvenience to you. If we can be of help in any way, please contact Experian’s customer care team at (833) 281-4827 toll-free Monday through Friday from 8 am – 10 pm Central, or Saturday and Sunday from 10 am – 7 pm Central (excluding major U.S. holidays). Be prepared to provide your engagement number B028481.

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