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

Rokstad Power, Inc. recently reported that, due to the theft of a hard drive from one of the company’s job sites, the sensitive information of certain individuals was compromised. On April 13, 2022, provided notice to anyone whose information was contained on the stolen hard drive.

If you received a data breach notification, it is essential you understand what is at risk and what you can do about it. More about what you can do if your data was stolen is available in our prior blog post, “A Guide For Victims of a Data Breach”.

On average, victims of identity theft spend 200 hours and over $1,300 recovering their identity. Many victims also suffer emotional distress, incur credit damage, discover loans taken out in their name without their knowledge, and may even end up with a criminal record for crimes they did not commit. Taking immediate action is the best way to prevent the worst consequences of a data breach.

What We Know So Far About the Rokstad Power Data Breach

According to official notice provided by the company, on March 5, 2022, a hard drive was stolen from a site trailer at one of the company’s job sites. In response to the theft, Rokstad contacted law enforcement and then reviewed the contents of the stolen hard drive. On March 14, 2022, the company learned that the hard drive contained personal information belonging to certain individuals.

On April 13, 2022, Rokstad Power began sending out data breach notification letters to all individuals whose information was compromised as a result of the recent data security incident.

Rokstad Power is a distribution and transmission construction company based in Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada. The company provides a wide range of power line contracting services to its customers, including emergency and storm response, distribution, transmission, live-line work, and more. Rokstad Power primarily works with utility companies, local governments and mining companies. The company employs more than 600 people and generates approximately $464 million in annual revenue.

More About the Causes and Risks of Data Breaches

Often, data breaches are the result of a criminal gaining unauthorized access to a company’s computer systems or devices with the intention of obtaining sensitive consumer information. While no one can know the reason why someone stole the hard drive, it is possible the thief’s intent was to obtain the personal information contained stored on the device.

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 Rokstad Power data breach notification should take the situation seriously and remain vigilant in checking for any signs of unauthorized activity. Businesses like Rokstad are responsible for protecting the consumer data in their possession. If evidence emerges that Rokstad 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 Rokstad Data Breach?

When customers decided to do business with Rokstad, 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 Rokstad Power 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 Rokstad 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 Rokstad Power, reach out to a data breach attorney as soon as possible.

What Should You Do if You Receive a Rokstad Power Data Breach Notification?

If Rokstad Power 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 Rokstad Power, Inc.:

Dear [Consumer],

We are writing with important information regarding a recent security incident. The privacy and security of the personal information we maintain is of the utmost importance to Rokstad Power Inc. As such, we wanted to provide you with information about the incident, explain the services we are making available to you, and let you know that we continue to take significant measures to protect your information.

What Happened?

On March 5, 2022, a hard drive was stolen from a site trailer on one of our project sites.

What We Are Doing.

Upon learning of this theft, we immediately notified law enforcement of the incident and launched an investigation. As part of our investigation, we have been working with outside data privacy professionals who regularly investigate and analyze these types of situations. We discovered on March 14, 2022 that the stolen hard drive contained some of your personal information. We have no evidence that any of the information has been misused. Nevertheless, out of an abundance of caution, we want to make you aware of the incident.

What Information Was Involved?

The stolen hard drive contained some of your personal information, [Redacted]

What You Can Do.

To protect you from potential misuse of your information, we are offering a complimentary one-year membership of Equifax Credit WatchTM Gold. For more information on identity theft prevention and Equifax Credit WatchTM Gold, including instructions on how to activate your complimentary one-year membership, please see the additional information provided in this letter.

This letter also provides other precautionary measures you can take to protect your personal information, including placing a fraud alert and/or security freeze on your credit files, and/or obtaining a free credit report. Additionally, you should always remain vigilant in reviewing your account statements for fraudulent or irregular activity on a regular basis.

For More Information.

Please accept our apologies that this incident occurred. We are committed to maintaining the privacy of personal information in our possession and have taken many precautions to safeguard it. We continually evaluate and modify our practices and internal controls to enhance the security and privacy of your personal information.

If you have any further questions regarding this incident, please call our dedicated and confidential toll-free response line that we have set up to respond to questions [Redacted]. This response line is staffed with professionals familiar with this incident and knowledgeable on what you can do to protect against misuse of your information. The response line is available [Redacted].

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