Equifax—is earning its fair share of blame for the fiasco caused by the infamous “Hack” earlier this month. There have been a series of revelations that about their lack of data control that should force the company out of business.
With this shocking breach which put at risk 75% of U.S. Adult population’s personal information affecting 143 million citizens, this hacking manifesto pushed the business down to its rock-bottom while raising ethical questions and earning lawsuit persecution from various states due to their inexcusable negligence.
The release of information, if Equifax does not agree to pay 1 Million Bitcoin as a ransom, will be accessible by every rogue lurking within the dark web.
As one of the world’s largest data mining companies after five decades, Equifax business does not only revolve in selling credit reports to a multitude of business communities. The firm has ventured into a plethora of niches, unearthing information from social media sites and profiles of consumers to aid businesses in choosing the right borrowers to whom to lend money.
Yes, Equifax has been collecting Tweets, Facebook posts and other Social Media responses of people together with their personal information without them being aware or giving permission to comprehend on what’s beyond everyone’s contemplation.
Your predicament, your social status based on what you post online, your educational and corporate background and even the smallest interaction you’ve made publicly are all under surveillance and stored in a database.
They are between a rock and a hard place, if Equifax does not pay the ransom, all your confidential data will be subject to unthinkable perils, and if they do, they just embolden the hackers to go after data from someone else with deep pockets.
Smith claimed that Equifax is “the largest library in the world” overthrowing the amount of data safe kept by the Library of Congress.
In a speech delivered at University of Georgia business school back August, Richard Smith, Equifax’s chief executive said “We manage massive amounts of unique data; we have data on approaching a billion people. We have data on approaching 100 million companies around the world. Our data assets are so large, so unique, that we manage almost 1,200 times that amount of content every day, around the world” Smith added.
Smith’s twelve-year reign as a CEO of Equifax brought flabbergasting progress to the firm, with its market value increasing from $3 billion to $20 billion and the stock price soared 200 percent under his watch. Equifax has become the fountainhead which “makes the financial industry tick” according to Keith Snyder, an industry analyst at CFRA Research. “They’re the rails that the financial train runs on. Without them everything would grind to a halt,” Snyder elaborates.
Richard Smith, Equifax’s CEO instigated the firm’s expansion. Instead of dominating the United States credit industry, he pushed Equifax to 24 more countries.
Emerging from Atlanta back in 1899, Equifax morphed into a data mining leviathan that incorporates the use of artificial intelligence and state-of-the-art software to help the companies to “scrutinize” whether to extend credit to nearly 1 billion people worldwide.
Equifax might’ve seen the abundance of information as a way to monetize their business furthermore and explored new strategies to acquire more lucrative ventures.
In adherence to the expansion, the company crafts around 50 to 75 products annually to get ahead of its competitors and continue revolutionizing the industry.
Equifax presented itself to companies as a “protector of data” from companies who fear breaches and illegal intrusions, offering their very own services of the “Equifax Data Breach Response Team.”
The company website claims: “In addition to extensive experience, Equifax has the most comprehensive set of identity theft products and customer service coverage in the market,” using their enticing tagline “You’ll feel safer with Equifax.”
Exhilarated by the remunerative expansion, Smith set ambitious new milestones for the company to look forward to—doubling their revenue from $4 billion to $8 billion within the next five years.
Adding to its adversity the goals set by the company may be derailed due to having information held captive by the hacktivists.
September 7th, Equifax announced to the public media that the hackers gained access to crucial information, such as people’s Social Security Numbers, birth dates, addresses, loans and insurance information, bank account details and more.
Equifax, who pledged to keep information safe and protect our secrecy have forsaken us all.
This chain of events has given the public eye a narrative, from a manifestation of “hacktivities” months before the major breach, the undetected fraud website which can acquire all inputted customer information, to Equifax themselves selling 2 Million worth of stocks- all have doomed this firm to a conundrum.
Merle, Renae. “Equifax Manages 1,200 Times More Data than the Library of Congress. That’s Why People Are so Worried.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 25 Sept. 2017, www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/equifaxs-breach-is-not-its-first-brush-with-concerns-over-handling-of-personal-data/2017/09/25/3f41cfee-9fc4-11e7-8ea1-ed975285475e_story.html?utm_term=.6f5f0b755017.