Equifax Data Breach Could Affect 143 Million: What You Need to Know

Equifax, the company that provides credit and other personal information services, discovered a data breach on July 29th, 2017.  They reported on Thursday that this breach could potentially affect 143 million people in the U.S.  Equifax states that the data exposed includes names, addresses, social security numbers, birth dates, and some driver’s license numbers, all the information needed for identify theft.  Roughly 209,000 credit card numbers were also obtained, along with dispute documents with “personal identifying information” for about 182,000 people.This could be considered the worst data breach ever due to the type of information that was accessed.

The hackers accessed these files through a vulnerability in their website between mid-May and July.  As soon as the hack was discovered by Equifax, they quickly stopped the intrusion and hired an independent cybersecurity firm to conduct a comprehensive investigation.  Now that Equifax knows what information was accessed, they are offering a tool on their website for consumers to check to see if they were impacted by the breach, and for those impacted, offering enrollment into their TrustedID protection which is a credit monitoring program.  Consumers did not have to work directly with Equifax for their personal information to be in their database.

When a company like Equifax, whose primary job is to analyze sensitive personal information, is breached, it raises a lot of questions and concerns.  Business network security is possibly the most important thing needed in the business world today.  Your network is home to your customer’s sensitive data as well as your company’s, so defending it is imperative in this day and age.  RedWave Technology Group, LLC offers a variety of solutions to ensure network security and to protect your sensitive data.  Between viruses, malware, spyware, and hackers, there is always a potential threat to your network.  Antivirus software is a good first step in preventing problems, and there is a wide variety of options.  One of the most effective ways to protect your network is with a firewall, which is either a piece of hardware or a software program, that blocks out viruses, worms, and hackers trying to access the network.  Backing up data, changing passwords regularly, and teaching your employees ways to reduce risk are also steps you can take. 

If you are affected by the Equifax breach, or even if you aren’t, this should be a wake up call to all business owners how important it is to secure your network and your sensitive data.  Contact RedWave Technology Group, LLC for a free consultation to learn how we can help ensure your network is protected from potential risks.