Unless you’ve been hiding out under a rock for the last couple of weeks, you likely know by now about the Equifax data breach. The breach—which lasted from mid-May through July—allowed hackers to access some 143 million people’s names, social security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver’s license numbers. The announcement of the breach in early September has set in motion additional events including insider trading allegations for three Equifax executives, and most recently, the resignation of Equifax’s CEO, Richard Smith.
Data breaches are nothing new; I have written about highly visible breaches and their financial impact in the past. The Equifax breach is notable, however, both for the sheer number of people whose data was accessed and the sensitivity of the data involved. Unfortunately, victims will be at risk for identity theft for years to come.
My colleague, Robin Fischer, has written a detailed piece on the Equifax breach, what steps you should take now to protect yourself, and what proactive measures you can take in the future. Take a look at Robin’s Cyber Security Resources Center.