random papersEquifax reveals 15.2 million UK records exposed in data breach

By Tyrese Garvie | Pink Connect

An extremely worrying 15,200,000+ UK client records have been exposed in a cyber breach, leaving many British consumers in fear that their data may be used for illegal means, such as identity theft. The data breach also made the driver’s license numbers of around 10.9 million Americans public. In total, it is estimated that 145,500,000 people have been affected by Equifax’s cyber breach – which has undoubtedly landed them in very, very hot water with consumers, regulators and governments from across the globe.

Equifax said in a statement that it would contact the affected UK consumers through the post and offer risk-mitigation products from themselves and third parties for free of charge, in efforts to help water down any possible illegal activity, resultant of the breach.

The company has seen its Chief Executive, Chief Information Officer and Chief Security Officer all step down as a result of the breach. Patricio Remon (President for Equifax Europe) said “Once again, I would like to extend my most sincere apologies to anyone who has been concerned about or impacted by this criminal act… Let me take this opportunity to emphasise that protecting the data of our consumers and clients is always our top priority”. Patricio’s comments come with some backlash, as this was obviously not the ‘top priority’ of the organisation. Prior to the cyber attack on Equifax, the company was alerted in MARCH that a software security vulnerability was present in one or more of its systems. Equifax failed to act on this due to what CEO Richard Smith described to the US Congressional Committee as “both human error and technology failures”.

Equifax is now under investigation by several federal and state agencies, which includes the United States Department of Justice. Not exactly something your investors want to hear, which would explain why Equifax’s stocks have plummeted.

Many businesses, whether they be large institutions or small local companies, they all fail to see the importance of protecting data and when criminals notice this lack of care in data protection from an organisation, they exploit – utterly destroying a business… and in this case, a very big one. Breaches happen every single day and they happen more often to SMEs than anyone else – but they fall short on the ears of the press as they only usually include around 1,000 customers, not 145 million.

For any business that operates within or with the EU, they will be required to abide by the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) which could see something as small losing a memory stick, punishable with a fine of £1,000+ (dependant on the data held).

Pink Connect has been providing data protection services and equipment for over the last few years to 100s of SMEs across the United Kingdom and we’ve never seen our customers been a victim of a breach – and with 2,000 attacks happening every second across the globe, we think that shows the quality of our services and equipment.

If you’re interested in protecting your business from a terrible reputation, lost data and ridiculous fines, just give us a call on 0345 450 9393 or email us sales@pinkconnect.

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