Veterans of the Financial Fraud, Digital Tech Industries Guide Launch of ‘Breach Clarity Score’ for Consumers, Financial Institutions

‘Breach Clarity Score’ seeks to become the Richter Scale of publicly-reported data breaches

(SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – January 14, 2020) – Each time data security expert Jim Van Dyke concluded his work on a data breach lawsuit, he couldn’t shake the feeling there was even greater use for his research. An expert witness in nearly 20 high-profile legal cases, Van Dyke developed an algorithm to offer detailed and unbiased analysis of data breaches to lawyers, judges and juries.

Wouldn’t everyone benefit from the same information, Van Dyke wondered.

Van Dyke likens the publicly available Breach Clarity Score to magnitude scales like the Richter Scale, widely used in measuring earthquakes.

“Without a single, consistent way to measure the impact of data breaches, every breach feels like an emergency,” said Van Dyke. “There are high-profile breaches that are not as serious as they seem, and smaller, less-visible breaches that can be extremely dangerous. Couple that complexity with the growing frequency of data breaches, and consumers are left feeling confused, overwhelmed and even helpless. This often leads to inaction, or taking the wrong action.”

The patent-pending algorithm underpinning the Breach Clarity Score analyzes 1,188 data points to assess the specific risks stemming from a breach. The tool then recommends actions to mitigate the unique risks of each particular breach. New data points are added as Breach Clarity’s proprietary research, knowledge base and partner network expands.

“The idea is to provide clarity, calm fears and give direction, helping consumers regain a sense of control,” said Al Pascual, recognized fraud expert and co-founder of Breach Clarity. “The Breach Clarity Score conducts a sophisticated analysis, and yet provides quick and simple answers.”

Van Dyke and Pascual worked together closely at Javelin Strategy & Research, a firm Van Dyke founded in 2003 and sold in 2015. Together, they will generate consumer awareness and use of the Breach Clarity Score, as well as integration of the Breach Clarity platform with other digital tools, such as online and mobile banking apps.

Breach Clarity Advisory Board Adds Five

Today, Van Dyke and Pascual announced the addition of five members of the Breach Clarity advisory board. The following individuals have agreed to serve on the board, each for a three-year term:

Kurt Abrahamson, chairman and former CEO of ShareThis

Adept in designing and directing sales, marketing and product development initiatives, Abrahamson has devoted his 25+-year career to guiding organizations to growth and efficiency. He has held a variety of positions with several high-tech and digital companies, including Google, Jupiter Media and ShareThis. His track record of raising capital and designing highly effective operational infrastructures will help Breach Clarity achieve a number of objectives as a fast-growing, early-stage company.

Matt Macomber, former BlackRock and Bank of the West digital executive

For TMG Solutions, Macomber and his team help financial institutions accelerate and optimize their digital transformation strategies. Prior to founding TMG Solutions, Macomber led teams responsible for everything from web and systems integration to omnichannel distribution at financial services firms BlackRock and Bank of the West. His distinctive expertise around user experience, design and development will not only assist Breach Clarity in the iteration of its own technology; it will also help the company develop strategies for seamless integration of the Breach Clarity Score within banks’ and credit unions’ digital channels.

Ellen Richey, former vice chairman and chief risk officer for Visa

Richey topped off her 40-year career serving as chief risk officer for Visa, Inc. Her knowledge of digital-era risk and the different ways financial institutions, merchants and networks view and manage for it will provide useful context for Breach Clarity’s enterprise product development and delivery. In addition, Richey’s expert understanding of cyber threat actor tools, techniques and procedures will give Breach Clarity a clear line of sight into the ever-evolving threat landscape.

Tom Shaw, former VP of financial crimes management for USAA

Following 16 years with Bank of America, Shaw dedicated more than a decade to USAA where he oversaw the fraud management lifecycle of financial products from deposits to brokerage. Now a consultant, Shaw applies his 33-year experience to assisting financial institutions with the development of agile fraud risk management strategies. His mastery of analytics, organizational design and vendor selection will help Breach Clarity delivery its message and value proposition within the financial institution marketplace.

Eva Casey Velasquez, CEO of Identity Theft Resource Center

Velasquez has more than 30 years of experience assisting victims of crime. She has investigated consumer and economic fraud issues for the San Diego District Attorney’s Office and led a BBB team in the agency’s pursuit of increasing awareness of consumer protection tools and resources. In her current role as president and CEO of the Identity Theft Resource Center, Velasquez furthers her passion for public good by providing free services to victims of identity theft. For Breach Clarity, Velasquez will ensure the voice of the consumer remains a central component to the company’s purpose and product evolution.

“We’re incredibly pleased at the strength and diversity of this team,” said Van Dyke. “The caliber of professionals who have joined us indicates we are on the right track. They are precisely the individuals to help us decode the mystery of data breaches for the millions of consumers impacted each year.”

About Breach Clarity

Breach Clarity’s proprietary, machine learning algorithm instantly analyzes more than 1,000 elements to score the risk level of a data breach. Each publicly reported data breach in the U.S. receives a Breach Clarity Score on a simple numerical scale, typically from 1 to 10. Breach Clarity’s dynamic algorithm and easy-to-use interface runs on the most comprehensive source of data breaches in the U.S., maintained and updated continuously by the Identity Theft Resource Center. To learn more, or to check the score of a recent data breach, visit