Awareness : Newsletter Articles

Equifax Data Breach – One of the Most Costly in History

In late 2017, Equifax, one of the largest credit reporting agencies in the U.S., reported a massive data breach.  A vulnerability on the Equifax website allowed cybercriminals to access the names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, driver’s license and credit card numbers of over 146 million people. 

On May 7, 2018, Equifax executives provided a statement to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that detailed the extent of consumer data that had been exposed.  The detailed report revealed that passports and passport cards were also included, which had been previously denied by Equifax.  Investigation of the breach indicated that Equifax failed to fully disclose the scope of compromised information, leading to a number of legal consequences and additional fines.

When the breach was initially reported in 2017, Equifax expected to pay a whopping $164 million in pre-tax costs.  An additional $275 million will be added to the bill following the new information that has slowly been uncovered.  That brings the total up to $439 million.  This amount does not take into account the cost of any civil lawsuits that are expected to arise or the cost of responding to government investigations.  When all is said and done, this breach may cost Equifax upwards of $600 million, making it one of the most costly breaches in history.

To read more, visit the Equifax data breach page on the Federal Trade Commission website.