by Shawn Burke
The Equifax breach could very well change the way we protect our information in the future. While we all worry about how this devastating cyber hack will impact our privacy and security, there are real and common-sense things we can all do to protect ourselves, whether we are monitoring our own personal credit or running IT for a Fortune 500 company.
Just to refresh your memory: On September 8, Equifax—the credit reporting agency with access to more than 800 million consumers’ credit files—revealed that it had been hacked during the summer. Hackers gained access to the social security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and in some cases the driver’s license numbers of more than 143 million people. That’s 45% of the U.S. population. Chances are pretty high that you or someone you know was impacted. Or both.
So what happened? Equifax says it neglected to make a recommended patch to Apache Struts, an open-source framework used to build Java web applications. The Apache Foundation concluded that the Equifax data breach was due to its failure to install the security updates provided in a timely manner.
Can something like this be avoided in the future? Absolutely. Tune into this BrightTALK panel where I’ll be discussing the Equifax hack and data protection this Thursday, September 21 at 4 p.m. EDT. Here’s a sneak peek at some of the advice we’ll cover.
Dealing with cyber security breaches is only going to become more commonplace in the years ahead. But with the enormity of the Equifax breach fresh on our minds, there are no longer any excuses for failing to take every precaution to protect your own assets.