Montana Attorney General Tim Fox announced this week that the state of Montana has received part of the settlement with Nationwide Insurance over a data breach that occurred in 2012.

Spokesman Eric Sell said about 1.3 million customers were affected by the breach.

"It was essentially a hole in their data base system that they should have patched and they didn't," Sell said. "The hackers who gained access to the data were able to get names, addresses and social security numbers and other personal data. Essentially, this was a violation of the consumer protection laws in the state of Montana and many other places around the country."

Sell said attorneys general from 31 other states joined Montana's Tim Fox in suing the company.

"We reached a settlement with the company recently and the State of Montana will be receiving approximately $114,000," he said. "The total settlement was $5.5 million. Because the individual amounts of the settlement are so small, the $114,000 is going into the Office of Consumer Protection to fund ongoing investigations in lawsuits similar to this."

Additionally, Nationwide agreed to take steps during the next three years to strengthen its security practices, including:

Updating its procedures and policies relating to the maintenance and storage consumers’ personal data.

Conducting regular inventories of the patches and updates applied to its systems used to maintain consumers’ personal information (“PII”).

Maintaining and utilizing system tools to monitor the health and security of their systems used to maintain PII.

Performing internal assessments of its patch management practices and hiring an outside, independent provider to perform an annual audit of its practices regarding the collection and maintenance of PII.

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