Date Released: FTC-PR-240201-1

February 1, 2024


FTC-PR-240201-1 – FTC Order Will Require Blackbaud to Delete Unnecessary Data, Boost Safeguards to Settle Charges its Lax Security Practices Led to Data Breach – FTC says company’s poor security allowed hacker to steal sensitive data of millions of consumers, go undetected for months


South Carolina-based Blackbaud Inc. will be required to delete personal data that it doesn’t need to retain as part of a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission over charges that the company’s lax security allowed a hacker to breach the company’s network and access the personal data of millions of consumers including Social Security and bank account numbers.

In its complaint, the FTC says that Blackbaud, which provides data services and financial, fundraising, and administrative software services to companies, nonprofits, healthcare organizations, and others, failed to implement appropriate safeguards to secure and protect the vast amounts of personal data it maintains as part of the services it provides to its clients.

“Blackbaud’s shoddy security and data retention practices allowed a hacker to obtain sensitive personal data about millions of consumers,” said Samuel Levine, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “Companies have a responsibility to secure data they maintain and to delete data they no longer need.”

The FTC says that, despite promising customers that it takes “appropriate physical, electronic and procedural safeguards to protect your personal information,” Blackbaud deceived users by failing to put in place such safeguards. For example, the company failed to monitor attempts by hackers to breach its networks, segment data to prevent hackers from easily accessing its networks and databases, ensure data that is no longer needed is deleted, adequately implement multifactor authentication, and test, review and assess its security controls. In addition, the company allowed employees to use default, weak, or identical passwords for their accounts, according to the complaint.

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[Date Accessed: 3/5/2024]

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