Posted by: Heather Toll on August 9, 2019 at 5:27 pm
We’ve been covering the Equifax data breach since it first hit the news. Possibly the biggest consumer financial data breach ever? You bet we were interested in how on earth something like that could happen.
Here’s a summary of our two previous blog posts on the topic:
- “Equifax – What Went Wrong and What Now?” covered the initial breach news, and our best advice to protect your personal and business financial data.
- “What Happened to the Equifax Data?” addressed a mystery uncovered by CNBC — over a year after the breach, none of the compromised data had appeared for sale on the dark web.
When we heard that the Federal Trade Commission settled the case, we were admittedly excited to hear what kind of devastating punishment Equifax would suffer. However, it turns out that, of the $575-700 million fee, only about $300 million will go to affected consumers.
Furthermore, while the initial news indicated that all those affected could receive about $125 for their troubles, the FTC quickly walked back that figure. In fact, they began urging consumers to accept free credit monitoring (provided by… Equifax) instead of the cash payout. It turns out that “too many” people were applying for the cash, and the fee imposed upon Equifax wasn’t enough to cover all the payouts.
Now, the FTC itself is facing the public’s wrath. Apparently, they underestimated the appeal of $125 in cash over “security monitoring” from the company responsible for the security breach in the first place. The fund for cash payouts topped out at a mere $31 million. Days after the settlement announcement, the FTC was urging those affected to take the security monitoring option.
Of course, every time a big security breach hits the news, the scammers come crawling out of the woodwork, looking for innocent victims.
Beware of emails that claim to contain links to Equifax, the FTC, credit repair companies, and the like.
In the long run, you might consider accepting free credit monitoring instead of fast cash.
Some of our staff no longer allow web sites to store their credit card information. Of course, that would not have helped with the Equifax breach, but it is a valid security measure to consider.
Finally, make sure that your business acts responsibly, updating operating systems and software as recommended for maximum security. (Mandatory reminder that Windows 7 will become a security risk after January 2020.)
Does you need help assessing your business network security? Do you need a written data security plan? We can help. Give TAZ Networks a call today.