Wawa Data Breach: How To Be A Beneficiary Of The Tragedy?

Back in December 2019, Wawa experienced a data security incident. The Wawa data breach resulted in the theft of 31 million payment card records. That’s absurd, isn’t it?

Of course, in cases like these, it’s really painful news and scary. But somehow you can make this tragedy they called the Wawa data breach into a warning sign.

First, let’s look at the details of the infamous incident.

One Of The Largest Data Breach

It is one of the largest data breaches of all time. It is on the level of those in the Home Depot breach. The said breach compromised 50 million customers’ data. 

Also, a little bit smaller than Target’s 2013 breach. Which exposed 40 million sets of their customers’ payment data.

The Customer Side

Of course, those who are affected are frustrated. Despite Wawa’s apologies, over a dozen lawsuits have been filed arising from the breach.

These lawsuits claim that Wawa failed to use reasonable measures to secure its computer systems. Also, the company failed to detect the malware on its servers on time.

Moreover, the measures that Wawa has voluntarily offered to its customers isn’t enough.

As a result, customers seek compensation for any damages. Also, to punish Wawa for its alleged knowing failure to maintain up-to-date security.

The Frustrating Part

Well, it could have been prevented. If not, even just to mitigate the damage from e-skimming malware installed on its card readers. By using EMV card readers at their pumps and using POS terminals.

As a result, cards are now being sold in the dark web marketplace, Joker’s Stash.

Avoid Complacency

Companies often fall into a trap of convincing themselves that their existing cybersecurity or fraud prevention postures are adequate.

They are stuck on the “burn and learn” mentality. The mentality that they’re not experiencing catastrophic breaches or significant monetary losses for so long.

Wherein fact, they may still be experiencing smaller-scale fraud and cybercrime. But, they felt secure because the “big one” has yet to come.

Thus, lulling them into a false sense of security.

This complacency, which the Wawa breach presents, is an issue facing businesses today.

With regards to compliance, it is not enough when it’s the “good enough” mentality.

What To Do

In the case of gas stations, EMV card readers are a proven and viable method of reducing POS fraud.  This works by transforming static credit card numbers into individual, encrypted numbers specific to the transaction.

While this transition to EMV comes at a substantial cost, there is a greater risk when it’s not implemented. Delaying the upgrade might form data breaches.

Moreover, criminals will subsequently abuse stolen credit cards.


Switching over to EMV card readers is just one thing that we learned from the Wawa data breach.

Not just that, it encourages us to introduce new authentication protocols or encrypting user account data.

Moreover, businesses should consider security upgrades, not a burden. Yet, an essential operational, and competitive advantage. 

Thus, helps prevent breaches. Also, relieving customers of having to take security into their own hands.

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