The 2017 Equifax leak was a disastrous scenario, but recent revelations indicate even more victims were affected than previously thought. Nobody ever wants to hear this kind of news, but there is an upside to this that shouldn’t be ignored – learning from the mistake. We’ll start with a refresher on what happened exactly, and what these new developments mean for your organization.
The Breach of 2017
Equifax is one of the three major credit reporting organizations, and it suffered a major data breach in 2017. Over 143 million users were affected by this breach and potentially had their personal information stolen or provided to hackers. For those who are curious, this is about 44 percent of the United States total population. It’s pretty wild to think about. In October 2017, an investigation yielded more information that showed about 2.5 million more users were exposed than the original numbers let on. Thus, the total number of victims reached a staggering 145.5 million, or nearly one half of the entire U.S. population. If anything, this new development showcases that this number is not set in stone and that it could potentially increase over time.
For example, Equifax has discovered even more victims; 2.4 million more who have had their names and partial driver’s license numbers stolen. Unlike other information that holds greater value, a hacker can only do so much with this data, but it’s still problematic.
Lessons from the Breach
One of the most important lessons that you can learn from a data breach is that there is always going to be another data breach. Businesses just hold onto too much valuable data, and too many people are looking to steal it, for there to be any other outcome. The fact that so much information is shared and distributed all over just makes it more likely that information will be breached. Therefore, measures must be taken to ensure that your company doesn’t suffer the same fate as Equifax.
You have to understand that your data will be potentially stolen or exposed, and not because of you. It could be the fault of any company that holds your information. Just like Equifax, any company that works with your data could potentially lose track of, and expose it, to dangerous entities. Even if you do nothing wrong, it could happen. You need to take measures to both protect yourself and prevent attempts at identity theft due to the negligence of others. You can start with credit freezes, locks, and alerts.
The next step is to be careful of who you share your information with. If you share information and it’s compromised in any way, you could find yourself at odds with your clients and customers. Therefore, it makes sense that you take measures to limit this risk as much as possible.
Don’t let a data breach that your business suffers from be the reason why your organization implements security. Call us today at 412.342.3800 or click here to get started.