From May to July 2017, Equifax was hacked. This data breach exploited a flaw in one of the company’s website applications and may have exposed the personal information of 145.5 million customers. This was thought to be a worst-case scenario for any of the three national credit bureaus, but according to new documents, the Equifax hack may have been even worse than anyone realized.
When Equifax finally revealed the massive data breach in September of 2017, government officials were shocked. It had taken the company five months to reveal to the government and the public that this breach had occurred. Some even theorized that if an exposé hadn’t been on the verge of publication, the breach may have stayed a secret even longer.
The credit monitoring company told Congress that information like dates of birth, home addresses, names and even Social Security numbers may have been exposed by the breach. Equifax also said initially that some driver’s license numbers were exposed, but it may have been worse than that. In documents recently provided to the Senate Banking Committee, it was revealed that the state and issue date of these exposed licenses may have also been exposed.
This extra information could improve a criminal’s ability to impersonate one of the victims of the data breach, opening them up to even more potential damages. This revelation has senators accusing Equifax of feeding the committee incomplete reports, which the company has responded to by saying that the information it compiled was “not exhaustive.” With so much personal information being exposed, the credit bureau could soon face both legal and civil consequences.
For law firms, the Equifax hack proves that cybersecurity has to be a primary focus of your practice. Exposing clients in such a manner could forever tarnish your firm’s name, and in such a competitive legal market, that could be disastrous. Hiring IT professionals familiar with the pitfalls of running a law firm can help you secure your clients’ sensitive data. To learn more about what services you can get for your firm, no matter the size of your practice, check out our services page.