Just How Safe Is Your Data Anywhere?

Following a very high profile hack of credit monitoring company Equifax Inc. (NYSE:EFX), investors and consumers alike have begun to gauge the risk associated with how companies manage their respective IT risk. Globally, the loss of consumer information has become a very large problem for many companies entrusted with holding consumer information safe, and the latest victim has hit closer to home, Bell Media’s parent company BCE Inc. (TSX:BCE)(NYSE:BCE).

The reported breach has affected "less than 100,000 customers" in Canada, and is currently under investigation by regulators. The company has reported the breach and is working with the authorities, however questions remain as to just how safe personal information is in the hands of companies such as BCE. The share price of BCE has jumped around in recent trading days, however ended the day lower Tuesday as investors digested the information and acted accordingly.

In general, hacks of major companies such as Equifax or BCE have become common one-off occurrences, and investors have subsequently become less sensitive to such incidents. That being said, this recent hack is concerning given the fact it is the second hack which has been announced by BCE in less than a year, indicating more should perhaps be done at Canada’s largest telecoms to protect the information of Canadians.

With new regulations being considered by Federal Canadian regulators, the potential for new reporting standards to be put in place should help make Canadians’ information safer. Until then, consider risks related to companies’ IT practices when investing.

Invest wisely, my friends.