Equifax Hack Calls for Reevaluation of Data Security

In a span of two and a half months, hackers were able to gain access to the personal information of over 143 million people, including names, addresses, and social security.

On September 7th, 2017, the credit reporting company Equifax announced that hackers had acquired all the information necessary for identity theft and fraudulent transaction, compromising the safety of their customers. This hack has cost Equifax customers and its stockholders a significant monetary loss, legal issues, as well as time and inconvenience. No other hack compares to the Equifax in terms of size and severity, as it compromised highly sensitive, private data. Many cybersecurity professionals blame Equifax’s outdated data protection system for causing such a massive data breach. It is crucial to explore the causes of the hack and learn from these mistakes in order to prevent a data breach from occuring again.

It is important to understand that even the most secured data valves are not safe from cyber attacks. This is why large databases storing personal information, such as Equifax, as well as smaller databases, are all at risk. The ultimate solution is Data Minimization. Personal and sensitive information is a liability, yet companies such as Equifax gather a significant amount of data that cannot be secured. Because old data is not disposed, there are large valves of sensitive information sitting on cloud or servers in different companies. As such colossal databases are tempting for hackers, a data breach is inevitable. To prevent further hacks, companies must understand that allowing old data to collect will only place a target on their back.

All data must be examined and considered for its relevancy and necessity, for when it comes to sensitive data, less is more.