On innovative analytics, technology and industry expertise to

On September 7, 2017,Equifax, which is a major credit-reporting bureau, announced that there was acybersecurity attack in which attackers had breached the system. “Equifax is aglobal information solutions company that uses unique data, innovativeanalytics, technology and industry expertise to power organizations andindividuals around the world by transforming knowledge into insights that helpmake more informed business and personal decisions.” (Equifax, 2018).

It wasreported that nearly 145.5 million people were impacted by the breach exposingeach and every one of them to identity theft (Johnson, 2017). Many people areangry and frustrated with how the company went about handling the situation.The company knew somethingwas wrong when they started receiving thousands of calls from clientscomplaining. What frustrated people even more was that Equifax presented theirclients with free identity theft protection but what they didn’t know was thatin the terms and conditions that almost no one reads, there was a clausestating that the customers agreed to not sue them (Johnson, 2017). As time wenton, Equifax eventually dropped the clause in their terms and conditions. Whatmade the situation even worse was that the frim waited three full weeks before notifyingthe board about the cyberattack and several months before informing theircustomers and the public (Johnson, 2017). Shortly after the public learnedabout the breach, the CEO was voted out by the board.

It was later discoveredthrough research that the Equifax was breached from mid-May through July 2017due to a vulnerability in the web-application that had a patch available inMarch (Newman, 2017). The company had more than two months to take action tofix the issue and minimize the risk presented. Instead, the company took therisk to have millions of their clients personal and sensitive information behacked and sadly, that’s exactly what happened.¬†Apparently, this isn’t the firsttime Equifax has been under heat for its actions. Back in 1970, Equifax, which wasnamed Retail Credit Corp at the time was exposed by Alan Westin, the nation’s primaryauthority on privacy law, for keeping a secret database containing records abouttheir clients lives and using their financial misfortunes against them (Johnson,2017). At court, Westin argued that, “Almost inevitably, transferringinformation from a manual file into a computer triggers a threat to civilliberties, to privacy, to a man’s very humanity because access is so simple”(Johnson, 2017). Due to this situation, the Fair Credit Reporting Act was created,which empowered consumers to have control over their own personal information thatcompanies have stored on them (Johnson, 2017). People began to be skeptical and it tooka while for the trust to be gained back by clients.

Although, fast forward 47 yearslater and they are in the gutter yet again for a massive cyberattack due to theirlack of proper risk management. Equifax had a duty toprotect the data of its consumers and it failed immensely especially since mostpeople don’t even know how they are associated with the company. Some may checktheir credit report and see that they have not been a victim of the breach but thatdoesn’t mean it won’t happen in the future. Since the information is out there,it can be used years down the road for something like identity theft. One thingpeople can do to protect themselves is freeze their credit, which shuts downcredit access (Johnson, 2017). Freezing credit prevents people from committingidentity theft; although, the down side of this is that one will eventuallyhave to unfreeze their credit and be exposed to the risk again.Equifax is sufferingscrutiny and massive losses due to the breach, which is well deserved since theissue was known and could have been prevented.

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If Equifax would have simply takenaction when they discovered the vulnerability, this whole situation could have beensuccessfully prevented. Equifax is now heavily impacted and will continue to paythe cost for their actions, especially with all the lawsuits that have been filedand most likely will continue to be filed as time goes on. What people shouldregularly do now to insure they do not become a victim is taking advantage offree identity monitoring services, be aware and on the look out for scams like phishingemails, and checking your credit report often (Johnson, 2017).

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