An external cybersecurity firm’s forensic investigation into the Equifax breach has concluded, and the number of individuals affected by the hack attack has gone up.
Mandiant, which was retained to carry out the investigation after Equifax first discovered the breach, found that an additional 2.5 million Americans were impacted, bringing the total to 145.5 million. And while Mandiant found no evidence that databases outside of the US were affected, about 8,000 Canadians are thought to have been impacted in the breach. Equifax says it is also in discussions with regulatory authorities in the UK concerning its disclosures of British citizens affected by the breach.
It is – hopefully – the conclusion to one of the country’s largest digital security breaches in recent history. And while the incident has stoked some angry responses, it may also have helped to raise awareness about the issue of digital security among businesses and other organizations, with biometric security specialist BIO-key’s CEO having noted a greater sense of urgency in at least one client project.
Certainly Equifax is not the only company that has failed to maintain adequate digital security. As the latest update to Gemalto’s Breach Level Index indicated, data breaches increased dramatically between 2016 and 2017 while the use of encryption security actually went down; meanwhile, a recent survey of digital risk managers found many reporting that their teams are under-resourced. All of which suggests that as bad as it was, the Equifax breach won’t be the last to make headlines.
October 3, 2017 – by Alex Perala