Equifax reveal the true cost of their breach

Equifax reveal the true cost of their breach

When Equifax first announced, in September 2017, that they had been breached no one quite knew the full scale of the incident.


When Equifax first announced, in September 2017, that they had been breached no one quite knew the full scale of the incident.

The breach had actually occurred three months earlier and at the time they believed there had been approximately 143million customers affected, with social security numbers, dates of birth, addresses and driver licence numbers all accessed.

Just last week the credit rating company revealed that more people had actually been affected than was previously thought.

An investigation, into the breach, found that a further 2.4 million people had actually had their data compromised.

The fact that Equifax holds data on more than 820 million consumers and 91 million businesses worldwide maybe we should actually be grateful more people weren’t affected?

Immediately after the breach, and the fallout, which saw several top executives leave, their quarterly profits dropped by 27% and their revenue growth was also down.

They have now revealed the full cost, which could make the breach the most “costly in corporate history”.

In a statement, they said they expect the costs relating to the breach to reach $439million by the end of the year. Only $125million of these will be covered by insurance, leaving a huge shortfall of $314million.

In the end, it is believed that the total costs could reach “well over $600million, once they have settled civil lawsuits and covered the costs of government investigations.

“It looks like this will be the most expensive data breach in history,” said Larry Ponemon, chairman of Ponemon Institute, a research group that tracks costs of cyber attacks.

Now, these figures might seem well beyond the realms of possibility for you but it is a timely reminder of the fact that the true cost of cybersecurity attacks are rising.

The 2017 Cost of Data Breach Study from the Ponemon Institute, sponsored by IBM, puts the global average cost at $3.6 million, or $141 per data record.

That is actually a reduction on the average cost of data records in 2016 but that is counteracted by the fact that the average size of data breaches has increased.

The study also found that 58 data records are stolen every second, with nearly 5 million data records lost or stolen worldwide every single day.

If these figures don’t scare you into making sure your cyber security is suitably secure then nothing will.

But the cost of preventing such problems is far lower than acting after an attack.

Get in touch now to see how we can help put your mind at ease.

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Founder & CEO at Hedgehog Security

Peter has been in the Information Security world since 1999 and in IT in general since 1996. His work history contains a unique blended balance between the development of exceptional technical capabilities and business knowledge. Peter is a proud father of twins and enjoys GT endurance racing on the weekends.

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