Sally Beauty SupplyAlthough it would be nice to hope that once a company has suffered a security breach it won’t happen again, that’s sadly not a reality. Sally Beauty Holdings Inc. is learning this lesson right now, as for the second time in the past year it has reported a likely credit card breach at some of its U.S. locations. In March 2014, Sally Beauty Supply investigated a breach that affected nearly all of its 2,600+ locations across the country. At least 282,000 customer credit cards were stolen and posted for sale on an underground marketplace as a result of the 2014 breach. Hopefully, this new breach won’t pose as much of a threat — although it’s too early in the investigation now to tell.

How is Sally Beauty Supply handling this breach?

Cybersecurity blogger Brian Krebs, who broke the story in 2014, was the first to report this newest breach. A statement sent to Krebs and now posted on the Sally Beauty Holdings website says the company is currently working with law enforcement, credit card issuers and a leading third-party forensics expert to determine the exact nature of this breach. If customers are concerned about security, they can call the Sally Beauty customer service hotline. Employees across the country have also been alerted, and are being told to direct customers with credit card issues to the website or customer service number. Once the investigation is complete, it’s likely another statement will be released with further information, including a list of affected stores so customers can determine if they are at risk.

What might be the cause of this new security breach?

Recently, many point-of-sale vendors have been compromised. Because stores and restaurants use point-of-sales systems for just about everything when it comes to credit and debit card transactions, corruption in POS systems can brew trouble. Small businesses are more likely to be hit harder than larger companies when POS systems are compromised, but as we saw with the “backoff” malware that hit major retailers like Target, it’s possible for a third-party vendor to become the doorway for thieves to get into a larger system.

Right now, the best you can do if you are a Sally Beauty Supply customer is to check your credit card statements thoroughly and report any unfamiliar transactions as potential fraud. It’s possible some credit card issuers may send new cards to affected customers, so keep an eye on your mail. You can learn more about taking steps to protect yourself and your identity by following our identity theft protection blog.