Home Depot Employee Information Leaked by Third-Party Vendor

Home Depot

Home improvement giant Home Depot has disclosed a data breach after one of its software-as-a-service (SaaS) vendors mistakenly exposed a limited sample of employee data during system testing. The exposed information includes names, work email addresses, and user IDs for around 10,000 Home Depot employees.

While not highly sensitive, the leaked data could enable targeted phishing attacks against employees in an attempt to compromise corporate credentials and potentially breach Home Depot’s networks. The company is warning staff to be cautious of any suspicious emails requesting sensitive information.

This breach underscores the risks that third-party vendors can pose if they fail to properly safeguard client data entrusted to them. “A data breach can wreak havoc on a company and the vendors that serve to protect their data, but humans make errors. It’s so important for security professionals to have tools that can protect users from phishing as the last line of defense across all communication tools, so that when data is leaked, you can avoid a more serious breach by stopping phishing before it’s successful,” said Patrick Harr, CEO at SlashNext.

Tamir Passi, Director of Product at DoControl, emphasized that real production data should not be used for testing unless proper safeguards are in place. “Once the data is handed over, it’s up to the other organization to protect it,” through measures such as audits, contractual agreements stipulating penalties for exposures, and strong access controls, Passi stated.

However, Mika Aalto, Co-Founder and CEO at Hoxhunt, noted that “Security responsibility doesn’t stop at the fence around your own house any longer. The Home Depot case underscores the need for continuous vigilance and comprehensive security protocols, not just within our organizations but also among our partners. Today, being a good business partner means being a secure teammate.

Aalto recommends rigorous vetting of SaaS providers through security audits, compliance checks, and ensuring any shared data is encrypted. He also advocates for continuous security training, saying “Employees and security professionals at all levels should be equipped to recognize and respond to potential threats, including those that may arise from third-party sources.”

The data exposure was claimed by the threat actor known as IntelBroker, who has been linked to high-profile breaches impacting organizations like DC Health Link and Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

As supply chain attacks grow, this incident highlights the necessity of robust vendor risk management and securing the extended software ecosystem against both mistakes and malicious actors targeting third-party vulnerabilities. Comprehensive cybersecurity is now a team effort spanning all partners. This incident serves as a reminder that cybersecurity is not just about protecting one’s own systems, but also about ensuring the security of all partners in the supply chain.

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