Cybersecurity

What You Need to Know About the Equifax Cybersecurity Breach

It’s happening. Again.

Another major cybersecurity breach is making headlines. And this one is truly unsettling. 44% of Americans are affected by it. That’s 143 million U.S. citizens. What’s worse, the target of the cyber attack was the credit reporting agency Equifax.

The story actually began months ago, but the big news broke last week when we learned the extent of the damage.

Cyber criminals gained access to Equifax data back in May, taking advantage of a web-based vulnerability. Then, as is all too common in these stories, they waited and watched. Over the course of roughly two months, they acquired some alarmingly critical data. We’re talking about names, birth dates, drivers license numbers and social security numbers.

News sources have already hit the credit giant with scathing criticism. For example, Business Insider observed, “Equifax . . . didn’t just have one of the worst security breaches in American history; it also handled the situation like a drunk teenager trying to hide the aftermath of particularly destructive house party.”

Ouch.

Protecting yourself.

First things first. You likely want to know if your personal information was part of the data breach. There’s an easy way to find out.

Equifax has already set up an online tool to let you know if your data was potentially exposed. Just go to www.equifaxsecurity2017.com. Enter your last name and the last 6 digits of your social security number.

If your info is safe, you’ll get the all-clear. If your data might be at risk, you’ll get a vaguely worded warning and an offer from Equifax for one free year of credit monitoring.

Keep in mind, though, that your social security number is with you forever. If your information was compromised, you’ll want to keep an eye on your credit report for several years as cyber criminals may not take advantage right away.

Protecting your business.

Of course, you’re a business owner. Protecting your personal assets is only half the story. You also need to protect your business.

Even if your company is small, there’s still significant cybersecurity risk. 50% of SMBs experienced a cybersecurity attack in the last year. Just because your operation isn’t global doesn’t mean cyber criminals will give you a free pass.

You still need a solid cybersecurity strategy.

The complexity of cybersecurity.

Cybersecurity is a complex, ever-changing field. It would be great if there were a quick-and-easy DIY approach. But this is not one of those things you can easily tackle on your own.

Why?

First, because cyber criminals are creative and persistent. As soon as cybersecurity professionals close all the known security gaps, cyber criminals find another. What it takes to keep your business safe today could easily change next month. Or next week.

Second, because even small networks have more vulnerability points than you might think. There are all kinds of ways to hack into a system. Addressing every possible point of entry requires high levels of expertise and experience.

And finally, because the stakes are high. If you suffer a cybersecurity breach, you’ll lose valuable data and your reputation will take a significant hit. Remember that quote from Business Insider about Equifax? Do you really want to risk folks saying the same kinds of things about your business?

Cybersecurity you can trust.

Our recommendation is simple. Rather than trying to manage your company’s cybersecurity on your own, call in the professionals.

An experienced cybersecurity partner will be able to provide the kind of protection you really need. These experts know how cyber criminals think, they stay up-to-date on the latest threats, and they’re ready to adjust as cybersecurity evolves over time.

Yes, professional cybersecurity comes at a cost. But it’s totally worth it.

If you’re interested in learning more about protecting your organization, the team at EaseTech can help. We have the experience, the tools and the knowledge to cover all your cybersecurity needs.

Plus, we take a down-to-earth approach. Not only do we want you to be safe – we want you to feel comfortable, too.

Give us a call today to find out how we can protect your business from cybersecurity threats.