Equifax’s Massive ID Theft Is a Reminder That Firms Need Incentives to Keep Data Safe
Right now, half of America may as well post its personal details online for all to see. That’s because, as the Associated Press reports, the credit monitoring firm Equifax has suffered a huge data breach that saw names, social security numbers, birth dates, and addresses of 143 million Americans stolen by hackers.
It’s a huge amount of user data to be compromised, and will massively damage the reputation of the company. Even more frustrating for most people is the fact that Equifax identified the attack on July 29, but only published details of it on Thursday.
Somewhat ironically, as the Financial Times points out (paywall), facing competition in the credit monitoring market, Equifax recently pivoted to specializing in ... fraud prevention and identity management, and selling advice on how to manage data breaches. Clearly, that pivot hadn’t yet resulted in beefing up its own security.