Friends and colleagues,
As you are undoubtedly aware by now, a major credit reporting agency disclosed yesterday that cyber criminals gained unauthorized access to the personal information of over 140 million US consumers. You may be asking yourself, “What should I do to protect my family and I in the wake of this breach?” I’ve laid out a few of my thoughts on this as well as how you can ensure your business takes steps to prevent a similar incident from happening.
Determine if your information was part of the disclosure. Equifax has stood up an official website where you can check if your information was accessed by these cyber criminals: https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/. I encourage everyone to check to see if you are on the list. If you are on the list, you should consider temporarily freezing your lines of credit. To quote my friend Dan Guido, “Consumers should deal with this inconvenience and freeze their credit; It’s significantly safer than credit monitoring.” Here is an article that discusses credit freezing and thawing: http://clark.com/personal-finance-credit/credit-freeze-and-thaw-guide/
Be wary of fake or scams following this announcement. There will undoubtedly be attempts by thieves to use this opportunity to trick you into providing them with your information. Use only the tools provided by the official Equifax website.
Take advantage of the Equifax offerings. If you are not on the list, don’t assume your information is safe. Equifax is offering a number of free services to every US consumer, including identity theft protection and credit monitoring. I encourage you and your families to review the Equifax public announcement and consider this offer via their official website: https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/. On top of the screen, click “Potential Impact.” Be sure to read the fine print as you may be giving up your rights to participate in arbitration or future class action lawsuits.
Take an aggressive stance on data security to prevent your business from a similar incident. It is critical that we remain proactive together to harden our companies against this growing threat from cyber-attack. Oxford Solutions recommends aligning your business to an internationally recognized security framework such as the NIST Cybersecurity Framework, ISO 27001, or others in order to become a harder target for cyber criminals.
As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if you would like to discuss how we can partner together to help enhance your business’s security posture.
Co Founder & CEO