US credit reporting company Equifax suffers huge data breach

Another day, another high-profile data breach crippling another high-profile organisation.

Equifax is one of biggest credit reporting companies in the US that tracks and rates the financial history of millions of U.S consumers. The company are supplied with data ranging from loans and payments, to child support payments, missed rents and utility bills – everything that adds up to giving good credit score results; a perfect target for cyber-attackers. 

Intercede CEO, Richard Parris, had this to say:

“Companies like Equifax are supposed to be the bastions of customer data. Yet, as has worryingly become commonplace today, businesses are continuing to neglect how they protect customer data – and even their own data. Recent research we conducted found that 86% of systems administrators within major enterprises – those people that hold the keys to an organisation’s kingdom – are using basic password authentication to protect data. What’s more, 50% of respondents admitted that business user accounts in their organisations were ‘not very secure.’

It’s no surprise, then, that we’re seeing hack after hack. But it’s no longer acceptable to put customers at risk, advising them to ‘change or use complex passwords’ when passwords are the root cause of the majority of data breaches today. Businesses have been warned that current security methods are no longer enough to fend off cyber criminals and its us – the general public – that are left to wonder who has access to our data and which of our online accounts could be compromised next. 

The right security methods are out there – strong authentication that incorporates multiple levels of authentication such as PIN numbers, devices and biometrics. This makes it much more difficult for cybercriminals to hack into systems. But it appears businesses are getting lazy and lack the volition to make change. Equifax’s data breach is an example of the type of breach we should not be seeing today, and it’s worrying that calls for change are falling on deaf ears. Businesses will have no choice but to sit up and listen as GDPR comes into effect next year, but it’s reproachable to see businesses continuing to play fast and loose with our personal information until something bad happens to them.”

If an incident like this was to happen in the EU in 6 months time, the GDPR would mean Equifax could be hit with fines of 4% of their annual global revenue – so the time really is now for organisations to get a handle on their cybersecurity practise.

To find out how Intercede can help you secure your networks and facilities against data breach, get in contact.

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