Among the headlines hitting news outlets this morning was an announcement that Equifax, one of the three major credit reporting agencies, announced a massive data breach that could potentially impact up to 143 million consumers. BlumShapiro cares deeply about our clients, their employees and their customers, so we would like to keep awareness about this incident and its potentially widespread impact top of mind as we head into the weekend.
The press release from Equifax included the following critical information:
“Criminals exploited a U.S. website application vulnerability to gain access to certain files. Based on the company’s investigation, the unauthorized access occurred from mid-May through July 2017. The company has found no evidence of unauthorized activity on Equifax’s core consumer or commercial credit reporting databases.”
“The information accessed primarily includes names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver’s license numbers. In addition, credit card numbers for approximately 209,000 U.S. consumers…(may also have been exploited).”
“Equifax has established a dedicated website, www.equifaxsecurity2017.com, to help consumers determine if their information has been potentially impacted and to sign up for credit file monitoring and identity theft protection. The offering, called TrustedID Premier, includes 3-Bureau credit monitoring of Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit reports; copies of Equifax credit reports; the ability to lock and unlock Equifax credit reports; identity theft insurance; and Internet scanning for Social Security numbers – all complimentary to U.S. consumers for one year.
The potential impacts of this breach are massive; cybersecurity experts are citing this incident as one of the worst and potentially most devastating. Each of our clients should first assess whether they have been impacted, by using the online tools and resources provided by Equifax.
This website (www.equifaxsecurity2017.com) helps determine if you may have been impacted. We recommend sharing this information with your families, employees, and customers to raise awareness. Also, be sure to keep an extra eye out for phishing emails and scams offering services regarding this incident. Many hackers capitalize on these events and strike while the iron is hot. Most importantly, don’t let this breach get buried amongst the volumes of other headlines and issues that dominate news outlets and conversations, be proactive. This issue, and the potential impacts on many people we work with and do business with each day is too significant.
BlumShapiro will provide additional perspectives on the impacts of this data breach as the story evolves. For more information on this incident and additional cybersecurity questions feel free to contact a member of our cybersecurity team.