DALLAS The mother lode of consumer data mined from Target and Niemen Marcus in recent hacks are a worry not only for millions of customers but also for the financial institutions whose cards they used.

'There is concern out there and rightfully so,' said Paul Clampitt, the CEO of Richardson-based Institution Solutions.

The firm works with more than 500 financial companies to manage sensitive information and deal with threats. Clampitt said he has been talking with investigators examining the recent data heists.

Last week, Target reported as many as 110 million customers had their data compromised. Neiman Marcus also reported a security breach but has not announced many more specifics.

'They're saying they have not seen this type of breach in the past. This is the first time they are seeing a breach of this enormity and the fact that this could be the largest breach ever out there,' Clampitt said of the Target hack. 'It is going to be a game changer.'

Clampitt predicts these cyber attacks will spur stronger regulations and more advanced card security.

Meanwhile, he advises if you shopped at the targeted retailers that you get a new card, change your PIN, change your online account password, set up automatic alerts for large transactions, and watch your account daily even for small charges.

'Two dollars, $2.50,' Clampitt said. 'We have seen some that are $9.95.'

And finally, Clampitt suggests customers freeze their credit reports.

'Contact the credit bureaus, there are three major ones, and ask them to put a credit freeze because you suspect fraud,' he said.

That way, he says, new credit accounts can't be opened in the card holder's name without he or she being notified first.


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